Dhaka Medical College Hospital authorities have submitted a bill of Tk 20 crore for their health workers to stay, eat and transport at the hotel in two months. The brawl has started. The issue has spread from social media to the parliament. I have tried to find out what hospitals in other countries are doing. Some questionnaires were sent to physicians working in different countries on personal and professional channels. This report has been prepared on its basis.
INDIA: In the first month, there were hotel arrangements in India. Unable to afford the cost, it was dropped. Now the ward doctors are doing their duty in an eight hours shift. The rest of the doctors and nurses shift eight hours. There is no quarantine arrangement at the end of duty.
PAKISTAN: ICU doctors are shifting for eight hours. Everyone else is a 12 hours shift. Home quarantine is available at the end of duty. No hotel is available. Health workers are being tested from time to time.
NEPAL: ICU and ward doctors shift 24 hours, nurses 12 hours. There is a 14-days quarantine facility on the hospital premises for all health workers who are at risk and directly treating Covid-19 positive patients.
INDONESIA: ICU and general ward doctors and nurses are on duty in an eight hours shift. There is no quarantine at the end of duty. There is an arrangement for a test every two weeks for the health care workers, involved with positive patients.
MALAYSIA: Doctors and nurses are on duty in an eight hours shift. There is no quarantine, no hotel arrangements.
BRUNEI: Duty is the same as usual. There is no quarantine. There are no hotel arrangements. ICU doctors have been on duty for 24 hours continuously. The next day is a holiday, just like any other time. Ward doctors and nurses are on duty in three shifts a day. All health workers are tested every three months.
OMAN: ICU doctors in 24 hours shift, general ward doctors in 12 hours shifts. ICU and ward nurses are doing duty in an eight hours shift. The doctors are going to the hotel for 14 days and the nurses are going to the hotel for seven days after seven days of duty. The health care workers are being tested at the end of the quarantine.
QATAR: ICU and general ward doctors are on duty in 12-hour shifts, nurses for 8 hours. There is no hotel. There is no quarantine at the end of duty. If there are any symptoms, they are being examined like normal patients as per the guidelines of the Ministry of Health.
UAE: Ward doctors are on duty in 12 hours shifts, ICU doctors, nurses and ward nurses in 8 hours shifts. There is no quarantine at the end of duty. Health workers are being tested from time to time.
SAUDI ARABIA: ICU or ward - everywhere doctors - nurses are on duty in a 12 hours shift. Seven days home quarantine at the end of seven days duty. If there are symptoms, the health workers on duty are being tested.
UNITED KINGDOM: ICU and general ward staff are on duty in a 12-hours shift. They are going to a one-week home quarantine after two weeks of duty. Home isolation for two weeks if symptoms persist. There is no hotel arrangement in the UK.
SWEDEN: Doctors and nurses are all on duty in an eight hours shift. Home quarantine if there are any symptoms. Duty resumes after 48 hours of symptoms. If there are symptoms, PCR test, antibodies test is being done as part of the screening in case there are no symptoms but serving the patient of Covid-19.
AUSTRALIA: Any health worker can go to the hotel if they feel the need. There is no obligation. Free to stay and eat. As long as you can be happy. The hospital authorities have fixed the hotel. If the health worker stays at the hotel during the rush hour, he will pay all the bills first, then collect them from the hospital. Here they are doing their duty as usual.
Dr ABM Kamrul Hasan is Expatriate Physician, Columnist [email protected]