Outlook|May 04, 2020

Paramedics bear the brunt of all medical emergencies. Why are they then so undervalued?
Jeevan Prakash Sharma

THE green-uniformed individuals you see in movie after movie, rushing to meet ambulances, or reaching out to victims of healthcare emergencies or accidents and comforting them en route to the hospital, aren’t doctors or nurses. They are paramedical health professionals—the first line of contact with patients. At a time when India’s health system cowers before the COVID-19 challenge, paramedics are first responders in the battle—taking samples for tests, bringing patients to quarantine facilities, helping them get critical care in ICUs—risking their own lives. Unfortunately, these dedicated warriors never get due credit; long duty hours, low salaries, and no social recognition are their lot.

“Inside the laboratory, they risk their lives when they collect samples of COVID-19 infected patients and open it. When they go out, they are thrashed and insulted by people. What can be more challenging?,” says Deepak Sadwani, founder of Prognosis Lab, which has been approved to conduct COVID-19 tests.


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May 04, 2020