covid: Covid stress: many docs lost interest in work, say experts | Bangalore News

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Bengaluru: As talk of the severity of the fourth wave of Covid intensifies, alarm bells are ringing again in the medical fraternity. How to ensure that doctors, hard hit in the last three waves of the pandemic, do not reach the breaking point this time? This will likely be one of the biggest challenges if Covid hits back in June-July as expected.
Health experts and psychiatrists, who deal with the mental health issues of healthcare workers, say they see a lack of interest from doctors.

“To date, doctors have adapted to the clinical expectations of Covid. While news of another wave doesn’t seem to bother them about their ability to work, what is becoming increasingly common among healthcare workers is a loss of interest in work,” said said Dr. Ashlesha Bagadia, Psychiatrist and Head of Psychotherapy Services, The Green Oak Initiative. , community mental health center. The initiative has been running a free mental health helpline for healthcare workers since May 2020 to help them deal with pandemic stress and speak out.
When most professionals were working from home during the pandemic, healthcare workers had to go outside, even though they too were left without help or nannies at home to care for their children. “Many young couples faced marital discord as they had to manage work in hospitals, check children’s online courses and take care of household chores,” psychiatrists said, adding that doctors were unwilling overcome such difficulties in the next wave.
Dr. Mahesh Gowda, psychiatrist and director of Spandana Healthcare, recalled the typical burnout syndrome seen in healthcare workers. “In one case, a doctor who was working continuously in a public hospital was facing enormous stress and wanted to quit because he found it unbearable. However, he got better with medication and only a 10-day break in October 2021, after the second wave,” Dr Gowda said.
“Unacceptable attacks”
TOI members of the Association of Resident Doctors of Karnataka have spoken of recalled incidents where doctors in training were assaulted by relatives of Covid patients during the second wave.
Referring to how a female doctor was assaulted by the son of a Covid patient in Ballari last May, former KRDA President Dr Namrata C said such incidents affected doctors’ morale, who accept the profession with passion. “Many doctors have been assaulted through no fault of their own. Is it worth all the hard work and stress,” she asked.
Dr Namrata said she stopped recommending the profession to young people. “The harsh reality of the job is stress. Broken marriages, relationship problems, lack of peace and suicide attempts are a reality among healthcare workers, and Covid has contributed to all of this,” she said.
According to Dr Bagadia, the full picture may never change because doctors are very reluctant to ask for help. “According to the health care workers who have approached us, we are definitely seeing a deterioration in relations. In one case, husband and wife had to report for work, while their nanny returned to her hometown, leaving the family to fend for themselves. This put enormous pressure on their marriage and led to conflicts, which they had previously been able to resolve,” Dr Bagadia said.

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