Healthcare workers during the COVID-19 pandemic: Experiences of doctors and nurses in Bangladesh

Mehdi Hussain, Tahmina Begum, Syeda A. Batul, Nastaran N. Tui, Md. N. Islam, Bashir Hussain

Research output: Contribution to journalOther Journal Articlepeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)


Healthcare workers, who are in low-resource settings, are critically vulnerable during the COVID-19 pandemic. The increasing rate of coronavirus infection in a developing country such as Bangladesh caused the highest death rate of doctors among frontline service providers and resulted in fear and anxiety among healthcare workers. Even with the preliminary measures of hospitals and clinics to protect healthcare workers, the growing casualties are alarming. This research uses case study approach to explore the issues doctors and nurses face in 'priority intervention areas' (PIA) in order to improve the health system quality. Qualitative in-depth semi-structured interviews were conducted from 12 May to 4 June 2020 among doctors and nurses from two different private hospitals in Dhaka city. Data were analysed using thematic content analysis. The two significant areas that required immediate attention were identified from the PIA framework as 'patient and staff safety, infection control' and 'cultural aspects and community engagement'. Each area of the PIA framework showed previously ignored issues in the current health system. The adaptation of the PIA framework helped identify critical health system issues. Possible corrective actions including proper planning and management of isolating the infected patients and provision of adequate personal protective equipment are recommended to management and policymakers to save the lives of healthcare workers and to minimise the spread of infection.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)174-181
Number of pages8
JournalInternational Journal of Health Planning and Management
Publication statusPublished - May 2021


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