‘Stretched’ frontliners feel helpless they can’t save everyone

PETALING JAYA: Fatigued and stretched by the surge in Covid-19 patients, Klang Valley frontliners have no choice but to brace themselves for more punishment, as health director-general Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah expects cases to rise further in the next two weeks.

A senior government doctor in the Klang Valley, who declined to be named, said the director-general’s prediction that the situation would get worse in the next two weeks did not come as a surprise.

The doctor told FMT that this realisation only added to healthcare workers’ feelings of helplessness.

“We are tired, exhausted, and empty both physically and mentally as we have been battling wave after wave of this pandemic. This round is especially bad as the patients are younger and coming in with more severe symptoms.

https://imasdk.googleapis.com/js/core/bridge3.471.1_en.html#goog_928492915“We feel helpless that we cannot save everyone due to the limitations of equipment and beds.”

To make matters worse, the doctor said, was the “disconnect” between Putrajaya and the frontliners who were “stretched to their limit”.

“The visits by senior government leaders to hospitals are a farce. The pictures and stories that come out from the visits do not tell the true situation on the ground.”

Another doctor, who also wanted to remain anonymous, told FMT that the public healthcare system was already at its brink, with patients’ wellbeing and hospitalisation needs compromised due to the shortage of resources and manpower.

The director-general’s prediction that the Covid-19 situation would get worse in the next two weeks has added to frontliners’ feelings of helplessness.

Asked if the public healthcare system could bear a further surge in patients, the doctor said it was already not looking good at this point.

“Semi-urgent operations, follow-ups and urgent hospital admissions for non-Covid-19 related patients have mostly been affected due to the surge in Covid-19 patients.

“We’ve exceeded the maximum admission capacity. Now, we’re just pulling through with whatever resources we have, even transforming government health clinics into hospitals.”

The doctor felt sorry for non-Covid-19 patients who could not be treated at government hospitals in the Klang Valley, saying they were “denied the healthcare they deserved”.

Earlier today, Noor Hisham warned Malaysians that infections would surge even further over the next two weeks, with cases already soaring above 11,000 today.

He said the more infectious and faster spreading Delta variant was a major factor, adding that the strain had been detected in every state.

FMT

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