Hello my name is Dr. Jaisimaran Sidhu. I live in a small town in California called Porterville with 60,000 residents. My father Dr. Jasvir Sidhu and I run a rural health clinic here with primary care and pediatric care for the Medicaid population and the uninsured. He has served this community for 30 plus years.
We take care of 1/3 of the population which is about 20,000 lives. We are on the front lines and are in desperate need of masks to the point where we are attempting to make our own from materiel we can buy. My providers are on the front line of this crisis and we are committed to continue what we do for the benefit of our community.
We each have an n95 mask that we have been reusing for 2 weeks now.
I’ve made repeated attempts with the health department and state and filled out pages of request with no results for weeks. Now supplies are apparently in California and because we are not a population dense area we likely will not see any relief with PPE. This is disheartening when many of us could have lived in large cities and instead chose to come back and serve our small towns. Unbelievable this is America.
I’m reaching out to you because I know you have the clout and the ability to represent our voices. I am a 41 year old physician running an organization with 100 employees and a 15 month old at home. I’ve given my life to medicine and put my patients always first. You can’t send your troops to war without ammunition. That is what we are being asked to do. We are desperate for help. They say our numbers are low here but we are told by the health dept to limit testing and tests are not readily available.
As far as Medicare patients and telehealth it’s almost impossible for most to connect. They are the ones who need the most help and must come in because of flip phones or no computers. We must be able to contact them via telephone to protect them from leaving home.
I just had a patient in her 70’s with Diabetes and Asthma ask me today if she should stay home and just die so she is not alone if she gets it.
I know there are many organizations like mine but I wanted to reach out to and at this time.
Rural communities and rural doctors have been forgotten by this crisis.