Coronavirus: NHS staff are not being tested, says Medical Association chair

21 March 2020, 16:30

By Seán Hickey

The chair of the British Medical Association has told LBC that workers in the NHS are not being tested for coronavirus.

Dr. Chaand Nagpaul of the British Medical Association told Matt Frei that despite claims from the government that NHS frontline staff are being tested for coronavirus quickly and efficiently, most doctors and nurses at home have not been tested.

"We cannot understand why healthcare workers and their families are not being prioritised for testing" Dr. Nagpaul said. He told Matt that the government needs to act quickly on this matter as the longer these staff are out of hospitals and general practices, the more time coronavirus has to take hold over Britain.

The chair of the BMA told LBC that in some hospitals in the UK, his Association has found that they are working with 60 or 70% of staff rather than 100%.

He told Matt that the number should be way closer to 100%, stating that many frontline staff staying home "are able to go to work because they are negative".

Dr Nagpaul said NHS staff aren't being looked after
Dr Nagpaul said NHS staff aren't being looked after. Picture: PA

Dr. Nagpaul went further in the conversation to say that the problem doesn't only lie with the NHS staff stuck at home, but also the staff inside hospitals facing victims of coronavirus daily.

"Doctors don't have adequate equipment to prevent infection" he said. Dr. Nagpaul accused the government of not having enough stock of vital equipment for staff and this whole scenario has been a gross mismanagement.

"Protection in GP practices does not match up to WHO standards" he claimed. Although the government is trying its best to educate and reassure the public at this time, Dr. Nagpaul told Matt that it is the "insufficient organisation" from the start that has put the NHS in a dire situation at present.