I write to urge the Medical Council to show leadership and hold the kick-down-the-door-doctors involved in the incident at the Diamond COVID-19 Isolation Facility immediately accountable for their appalling actions. Never before would I have thought to put the words kick down the door and doctors in the same sentence, and in no other country of the world have I seen such atrocious and unprofessional behaviour. Yes, stress and tension are high at this time and many healthcare providers are working very hard, in often difficult circumstances. However, it is imperative that the rights of those in quarantine and isolation be remembered and respected at all times. These persons are not criminals and they do not deserve to be treated as such. Their concerns about potential re-infection by new arrivals to the facility are completely valid and the fact that this was not recognized by the doctors who attempted to place a new arrival with a current resident brings into question the training and competence of the doctors. Obviously, these kick-down-the-door-doctors need re-training on basic infectious disease transmission processes, as well as in conflict resolution, anger management, courteous communication, and human rights.
The seemingly vindictive response of withholding and serving spoilt food to the residents of the facility is also reprehensible and illustrates a system and persons who are extremely immature in their emotional development. That children, pregnant women, the elderly, and sick, stressed individuals were so penalized for expressing their concerns and trying to protect their health is disturbing and must not be repeated; those responsible must also be held accountable.
Finally, the silence from the Ministry of Public Health on this incident is also noteworthy- in the negative sense. Many Guyanese already have a great mistrust of public entities and personnel- as continues to be clearly demonstrated by the lack of responsiveness of the Guyanese populace to the public health admonitions to observe physical distancing and other measures to flatten the curve of coronavirus transmission. Quality leadership is essential at all times- especially now, and silence on matters like this do nothing to help inspire confidence in the system. Speaking out against staff who disregard and abuse patient rights, holding them accountable, and training them to be and do better is sorely needed and would help greatly to demonstrate true commitment to protecting and providing quality healthcare to Guyanese.
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