August 18, 2009

Swine flu side-effect: Doctors facing social boycott

H1N1 paranoia has reached new heights with doctors, general practitioners and paramedics seeing a sudden drop in their social life. ‘‘We’re facing a social boycott,’’ said one doctor rather ruefully.
It’s little wonder, then, that many GPs are now refusing to entertain swine flu patients. State authorities, too, have acknowledged that a growing number of GPs are becoming wary of patients suffering from flu-like symptoms.

In Mumbai, it’s the staff at Kasturba Hospital who are facing the worst of the social boycott. Deputy superintendent of Kasturba Hospital at Chinchpokli Ravi Kadam said his friends are shunning him. Another doctor who also works at Kasturba Hospital had to cancel his Sunday plans. He was looking forward to attending a family function, until a few well-meaning relatives advised him against showing up. ‘‘Even my neighbours are not so comfortable interacting with me,’’ he said. Apparently, they’re worried that they’ll contract the virus if they talk to him.

One junior doctor attached to Rajawadi Hospital just can’t shrug the ghost of the H1N1 virus even outside work. His family, he said, is insisting he wear a mask while he’s at home. In fact, the moment he enters his apartment, he has to take a ‘‘Dettol bath’’. ‘‘If this is how my family is reacting, I shudder to think how my friends will treat me.’’ The Indian Medical Association’s Pune president Dilip Sarda said: ‘‘This is very wrong. There is no need to boycott anyone socially.’’

Link: Original Article

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