COVID-19 Coronavirus Hotline

A Message to our Members on COVID-19

Dear Doctor Council member:

We hope you, your family and your colleagues are doing as well as possible with all that is going on with the COVID-19 response dealing with this pandemic and public health emergency.  We appreciate all you are doing every day, especially now, for our patients and communities.

Doctors Council is advocating for our doctors everywhere and continues to hold our workplaces accountable during this crisis.  COVID-19 is a pandemic that will test the limits of our already strained healthcare system.

We have been in contact with many of you bringing feedback from the frontline doctors to your employers, CEOs, CMOs, etc.  We are speaking with you and administration around the clock.  We have also communicated with elected officials and staff about the needs of our members and patients.

Doctors Council has set up a COVID-19 Coronavirus Hotline available to our members 24/7.  Please feel free to continue to contact us with any COVID-19 related issues, including clinical care  issues, safety concerns and workplace issues, as well as your valuable input and feedback.  You can contact us in any one of the following ways:
Call or Text to 917-624-0094 or Email

Our priority remains ensuring that our members have the tools, equipment, training, protocols and information needed to help keep themselves, their patients, and their communities safe. It is imperative that we serve as advocates for protecting the health of our patients, families, and communities.

Doctors Council members continue to staff the frontlines in the battle against COVID-19. The number of New Yorkers infected with the virus continues to increase. We are insisting that our Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) is up to standard. But concerns over depletion of N95s and other equipment is very real.

We are also addressing time and leave issues, such as how long a doctor is out when under quarantine or if he/she is positive, how long and how this will be paid, travel restrictions, impact on loss of vacation and CME days and other related issues.  It is our position that, as a doctors’ union, we support responding to public health emergencies such as the coronavirus.  It is also our position that because of travel and time and leave prohibitions, time and leave balances should be carried over into the next year and not forfeited – for example, any CME time and reimbursement amounts as well as vacation entitlements.  Anyone who had approved leave that has to be cancelled should be reimbursed in full for any expenses that cannot be recouped.  Moreover, anyone who is required to be isolated, quarantined or self-monitor at home should be afforded with paid leave time without charge to leave balances for such time, and anyone who is isolated due to having tested positive for the coronavirus should remain on paid status and not have any charge to their leave balances – receive time off with pay and without charge to leave balances for the workdays that fall within the period that they are symptomatic.

Doctors Council is here to advocate for and support you.  In terms of COVID-19 we are coordinating on various issues in addition to those noted above, such as:

  • Child care needed for essential healthcare workers;
  • Assisting doctors in high risk categories due to, for example, older age or chronic medical conditions. These doctors should contact us to discuss this but should also ask their employers for accommodation, such as having PPE, working remotely or taking time and leave;
  • Working remotely/ telecommuting as some doctors may be allowed to work remotely;
  • Employee wellness so doctors can have support dealing with the many various aspects of COVID-19;
  • Dealing with this public health emergency crisis, there will be changes in work need. Being aware that doctors will be cross trained and reassigned to various areas, locations and work to address this pandemic. For example, as elective/non-emergent surgeries are cancelled and outpatient clinics repurposed for calls and testing, etc., doctors and other staff may be asked to care for people who are in respiratory distress.  We insist that our members be trained how;
  • Staffing the H+H Contact Center with our members to answer the public’s questions and issues;
  • Verify availability and proper maintenance of negative pressure isolation rooms for patients with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 and protocol if such rooms are full or otherwise not available;
  • Safe room and floor cleaning procedures;
  • Pushing for hotel rooms to be made available to frontline healthcare workers who may have been exposed to COVID-19 and do not want to risk transmission to their families; and
  • Making sure your voices are heard.

Doctors Council, and our staff and attorneys, amid the COVID-19 pandemic, still are working hard every day for our members in other areas, such as:

  • addressing daily issues and questions of our members;
  • advocating for our members on numerous various issues that need to be addressed daily, such as pay, job protection, representation and having doctors’ voices and input heard. This can be for one doctor, one department or agency, one entire hospital or facility, or system-wide;
  • grievances and arbitrations to advocate for our members’ rights and benefits;
  • ensuring benefits are processed for our members, families and dependents through our Doctors Council Benefit Plan, Welfare Fund and Annuity Fund;
  • where we are in bargaining, continuing to press for a fair contract for our members; and
  • working with allies, coalitions and other unions on issues that impact our members and those we care for locally, statewide and nationally, such as:
    • protecting funding for our facilities and keeping them open for care, maintaining services our communities need and jobs for our members;
    • telling the NYS Governor and legislators to not cut Medicaid;
    • telling the NYS Governor and legislators not to erode doctors’ due process rights; and
    • aiding in census outreach so everyone is counted as this impacts funding to our States, locally and our work facilities.

We will continue to be there for each of you and your colleagues in the days, weeks and months ahead.  Let’s support each other and through our support get through this crisis together as best as we all can.

In Unity,
Frank Proscia, M.D.        Aycan Turkmen, M.D.       Kevin Collins
President                          1st Vice President              Executive Director

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