Standing by our Vows – We, the Doctors!
As the World Health Organization reports, Pakistan has been struggling in this COVID crisis due to lack of basic healthcare facilities, poor infrastructure, and scarce workforce, along with the COVID-19 cases spiking to 300,000 during the whole year. Forging the gap between transmission and spread is hard to tackle with the limited resources at hand.1
Health care professionals are fighting tirelessly against the odds being a defiant barrier to protect us. The safety of these healthcare workers is however a questionable matter.2 Being a doctor at the Holy Family Hospital Rawalpindi, I continued to carry out my daily routine despite the imminent danger of catching the virus. While I was adamant to be dutiful towards the COVID-19 patients, I was still caught by fear. I could see the television blaring the news of a young 26-year-old Dr. Osama Riaz, who was designated for screening local and international travelers traveling to Gilgit-Baltistan and thus contracted the virus. He was the first Pakistani doctor to put his life at stake and to die for the noble cause of serving humanity.3
Observant to our oath, we the doctors across the nation are right now gathered at the forefront, working day and night to pull out the entire country from crisis. Undoubtedly, our duty is putting us and our families at risk. The daily drill of donning scrubs, wearing personal protective equipment, and taking all the safety measures before stepping in the hospitals makes us feel like warriors every day.
I think this is the time to banish the collective culture of criticizing the doctors and supporting them from the highest level of hierarchy to the lowest. Our oath and our dedication to the profession helps us in mustering the courage to face the pandemic.
However, the reinforcement of public health laws should be ensured right now to provide better security and safety to the nation's unsung heroes.4 Hoping towards mercy and coordination of all the stakeholders present in the Pakistani community. We will fight this together (InshaAllah)!
(1) Riphah International University, Islamabad
(*) Corresponding Author