Letters, calls and emails: Doctors' white coats are not cause of MRSA

Dear Editor

It is not white coats that spread infection (GP, 21 September).

I have recently visited hospitals in East Africa where all the doctors wear white coats.

They have not heard of MRSA or other such infections in their hospitals because they have maintained colonial standards of cleanliness.

The hospital wards and outpatients clinics I have attended in British hospitals are filthy and a health hazard.

Window ledges and cupboards appear never to have been cleaned. Toilets are worse than public conveniences.

Junior doctors do not have hospital accommodation, or, if they do, it is appalling. No one cleans their accommodation, and they do not have their laundry provided. They wear the same clothes for a few days. Some travel on public transport, collecting bugs on the way, and then attend wards. Many have to go outside the hospital to get a decent meal.

Nurses too travel in uniform on public transport.

Bring back proper accommodation, laundry provision and canteens, and provide proper cleaners to clean the hospital wards and you would eliminate most of the infections.

I often wonder why we did not hear of hospital infections when we were junior hospital doctors.

Dr F M Hirji, Hemel Hempstead, Hertfordshire.

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