The Resident Doctors' Association (RDA) has written a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi over 'targeting of doctors for raising genuine concerns related to coronavirus preparedness'.
The RDA is a part of All India Institute of Medical Science (AIIMS), Delhi. In the letter, the RDA, acknowledges the Prime Minister's initiatives in handling the COVID-19 pandemic.
But the letter goes on to highlight the issues faced by the healthcare workers related to availability of Personal Protective Equipments (PPE), testing equipment and quarantine facilities.
Don't target Doctors asking for PPE: AIIMS RDA writes to the PM to withdraw punishment on doctors who took to social media for highlighting lack of PPEs. Take criticism as a tool for improving care.@PMOIndia@drharshvardhan@AmitShah@MoHFW_INDIApic.twitter.com/1HYlkqPJD0- RDAAIIMS (@AIIMSRDA) April 6, 2020
When these medical workers voiced their concerns on social media, they received a "harsh backlash", the letter says.
"Our frontline healthcare workers - doctors, nurses, and other supportive staff have come forward with their problems and issues related to the availability of PPE, COVID testing equipment and quarantine facilities, on social media. The officials should view these inputs constructively. Instead of appreciating their efforts towards welfare of their peers and patients, they have received a harsh backlash," the RDA wrote.
The doctors' association appealed to the prime minister to ensure that their opinions were given respected.
"It is the responsibility of the government to ensure that these soldiers are heard, their opinion respected, rather than humiliated," the letter read.
Lastly, condemning the backlash, the RDA requested the government to create a "healthy space for debate and discussion to aid healthcare workers rather than ridicule them".