KANSAS CITY, Kan. — According to 18 chief medical officers and infectious disease doctors from all around the region, this is the most dangerous time since the pandemic started.
Doctors now say their latest battle in the fight against COVID-19 may move to the Kansas legislature.
Healthcare professionals say Kansas has seen the largest increase in COVID cases on a per capita basis, than any other state in the union.
There’s concern now about two bills in the Kansas Senate, which would require Kansas physicians to prescribe Ivermectin or Hydroxychloroquine to treat COVID-19 if a patient asks for it.
Pharmacists also would be required to dispense those drugs, which this group of doctors say are not supported by medical evidence as proven treatments for the disease.
“I’m baffled at the intrusion into practicing medicine,” said Dr. Robert Freelove, chief medical officer at Salina Regional Health Center. “If we are going to require something and say that your doctor says you have to do it, you have to go do it. Or the pharmacist has to do it, if a patient asks for it, that’s a pretty slippery slope to a pretty dangerous place. If we’re going to require something, why don’t we require something that we know works: That’s vaccines.”
These doctors say states instead should be helping physicians with shortages they’re facing in treating COVID patients.
At Liberty Hospital, on the Missouri side of the state line, the chief medical officer says doctors don’t have any of the drugs that are proven to work against COVID.
That’s certain monoclonal antibody treatments, and the new antiviral drug Paxlovid.
The hospital leaders also dispute reports that health care worker shortages are being caused by staff who test positive for COVID, but don’t have any symptoms.
The leader at HCA Midwest says workers are only sent home when they are sick. The hospital chain says it does not test asymptomatic employees.