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Factors Affecting Performance of Healthcare Workers During COVID-19 in Pakistan


Healthcare workers are one of the most affected communities at the global level during the pandemic of COVID-19, and Pakistan is no exception. Pakistan allocates merely less than 1% of its GDP for the healthcare sector, that is why, in most of the cases, healthcare workers are bound to serve without adopting standard safety measures while dealing with patients. The need for proper Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) has been felt more than ever during the occurrence of COVID-19 due to its quick transferability from an infected person to a healthy one. Until now, some 62 healthcare workers, including 42 doctors, have lost their lives and 5,367 have contracted coronavirus. Healthcare workers already serving without PPEs went under serious life threat after the coronavirus pandemic, and this fear has adversely affected their role as frontline warriors against COVID-19. In the given scenario, healthcare workers have not only to be worried about their own lives but also their families back at home. The current study aims at investigating variables such fears of healthcare workers about contracting coronavirus, its adverse effects on their performance, and resultantly the provision of compromised healthcare services to patients. This is mainly a qualitative study, whereas primary data were collected through telephonic interviews of 30 healthcare workers (15 doctors and 15 nurses) currently performing their duties in healthcare centres. Sources of secondary data include online journal articles, daily newspapers, government reports, and official websites. The findings of the study show that lack of proper safety kits and training of preparedness and safety has put the lives of healthcare workers at high risk and they are unable to perform their duties in the proper/appropriate way owing to their exposure to the risk of contracting coronavirus. The healthcare workers are conflicted about serving and saving the patients or securing their own lives.


Healthcare Workers, COVID-19, Personal Safety Equipment, Pakistan


Author Biography

Muhammad Jafar

Dr Muhammad Jafar received his master’s in social work from University of Punjab, Lahore in 2003. Currently, he is serving as a lecturer at Department of Social Work, The Islamia University of Bahawalpur. He earned his PhD from Universiti Sains Malaysia in 2017. He has published in peer-reviewed research journal at national and international level. His research interests include social protection, social work education and curriculum.


Aisha Shoukat

Dr Aisha Shoukat is currently serving as an assistant professor at the department of social work, The Islamia University of Bahawalpur. She got her PhD in social work from the University of Peshawar in 2016. During PhD, she was awarded funding from HEC Pakistan under its International Research Support Initiative Program and went to The University of York, the UK as a research fellow. Her research interests include social issues of women, social work and social institutions, social development.


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