13 doctors from a hospital in Herat province called "Covid-1" announced their resignation on Wednesday.
Increased working hours, lack of supplies and equipment for the treatment and care of COVID-19 patients-- especially the lack of oxygen and medication--as well not being paid their salary, are some of the reasons the doctors gave for their resignation.
“Most of the time there is a lack of medicine, oxygen, and other equipment needed for patients to be properly cared for. It is not available and then the relatives of the patients point at doctors and say that the doctors are not taking care of the patients. Whom we should look after first, the critical patients or the patients in good condition?” said Massoud Mirzaie, a doctor in Covid-1 hospital.
"In these conditions, when we are at the peak of COVID-19 and the number of patients is higher than our hospital capacity, staffing is low and we are not taken care of. The longer we stay in touch with the patient, the more likely the chances that the doctors will be infected by the virus,” said Haroon Yousofi, another doctor of the Covid-1 hospital in Herat.
There are currently more than 100 patients of COVID-19 under treatment in Covid-1 hospital.
The hospital is at full capacity, and the health workers say their workload puts them under a lot of pressure.
“A set of rules and regulations were undertaken to help improve the quality of health delivery and services and to provide more access for patients to health services, therefore we convinced the health personnel to attend to their duties so that no the patients aren’t deprived of health services,” said Mohammad Rafiq Sherzai, spokesman for the Herat public health department.
Following the resignation, the deputy governor of Herat, Daoud Hashimi, met with the protesting doctors at the Covid-1 hospital. Hashimi says there is no shortage of facilities at the hospital and doctors will not resign.
“There was no shortage of facilities, there was only one issue: They (the doctors) wanted a decreased workload, so we issued the necessary directives to meet the demands of the doctors for residence and other health related services,” said Daud Hashemi, the deputy governor of Herat.
Herat is still under serious threat from the coronavirus. As of Wednesday, more than 3,100 positive cases of coronavirus had been reported in the province.
The main demand of the people of Herat is to increase the number of health workers, in order to prevent a human catastrophe due to the virus in the province.