A couple of doctors of Indian heritage, Nishant Joshi and Meenal Viz, on Thursday began legal proceedings against the British government over allegations of not addressing the safety and precautionary needs of personal protection equipment (PPE) for healthcare frontliners.
The doctors, in their legal case have highlighted that Britain's Department of Health, Social Care, and Public Health and some other government departments are not complying with World Health Organisation (WHO) guidelines – for instance – with respect to the reuse of PPEs and the requirement of “full body covering” PPEs among other issues.
The pair, who say they’d rather be in the hospitals treating patients, are demanding “lawful and transparent” guidance on the availability, use, and reuse of PPE.
“Accordingly, we have today (Wednesday) filed judicial review proceedings seeking to challenge that guidance with a view to bringing it into line with WHO guidance as well as human rights legislation", media reports quoted Jamie Potter, the solicitor for the doctors as saying.
Earlier in June, the Doctors' Association UK joined forces with GoodLawProject to call for a public inquiry into the lack of PPE for frontline healthcare staff in the UK.
The global shortage of PPE during a deadly pandemic has troubled doctors all over the world. In countries like Bulgaria and Zimbabwe, healthcare professionals resorted to resignations and strikes in a bid to get PPE for themselves.
In India, doctors treating COVID-19 patients even wore normal cloth masks, garbage bags, and raincoats as PPE amid the shortage of protective gear.
This is a serious concern. Doctors and medical staff have been at the risk of being attacked though they have been selflessly working under very dire situations of not being supplied with basic necessities like Masks and PPE kits.@KTRTRS pic.twitter.com/PVThngsmrF— News7Telugu (@rstodaynews) June 11, 2020
On 10 June, junior doctors at the Gandhi Hospital in India’s Hyderabad protested for an adequate supply of PPE and masks, while even getting into a tussle with cops.
Junior doctors protest at Gandhi hospital intensifies on Day 2.— Rajeswari Parasa (@ParasaRajeswari) June 10, 2020
About 150 junior doctors are protesting for protection, recruitment of manpower, adequate supply of PPE and N95 masks.
Protest was triggered after one of them was attacked by a patient attendees on Tuesday pic.twitter.com/zKroyEz2PI
Doctors from #GandhiHospital in Hyderabad sit on strike.— Spirit of Congress (@SpiritOfCongres) June 10, 2020
12hours a day working in unbreathable PPE kits for 3 months & they get slaps in return.
TRS govt in Telangana is a utter failure in giving protection to our frontline warriors.