Doctors complain about closure of private clinics during COVID-19 outbreak

Some medical doctors are complaining after being officially ordered to shut their private clinics down on Monday (March 23) in light of COVID-19.

A source close to BUZZ has revealed that while some doctors and nurses outside of the government system have been asked to offer voluntary services, many are disgruntled by the lock-down orders by the Ministry of Health.

Some medical professionals have said that despite not being officially identified among ‘essential workers’ they remain essential to their clients.

“We understand the importance of taking action to prevent and limit the spread of COVID-19, but we must not act as if COVID-19 is the only illness,” one affected doctor told Buzz, on the condition of anonymity.

“We have patients who visit our clinics individually for treatment or check-ups for ailments other than COVID-19 – that are just as dangerous to their lives: from heart and lung diseases to elderly conditions ranging from diabetes to prostate problems,” added the doctor.

The long-standing local medical practitioner explained that private doctors do not see patients by the fives or tens, they are mainly individual, so contact can be minimized through the application of the required social distancing protocols.

A member of the National Emergency Management Action Committee (NEMAC) when asked about the concerns of the private medical professional said that he was unaware of such reports.

He further said that such unintended effects will happen whenever we are dealing with something for the first time.

The NEMAC member stressed that he had not received such reports, but noted that he could understand the problem; further revealing that the matter would be highlighted to the relevant authorities.

Chief Medical Officer Sharon Belmar George over the weekend announced that non-essential operations had been postponed at Victoria Hospital while the government establishes the infrastructure to turn it into a major COVID-19 transition center.