The largest body of doctors in India, under the banner of The Indian Medical Association (IMA), made a sincere appeal to set up a “National Solatium” to be paid to the deceased member of the doctors and other healthcare workers who died from the coronavirus in the line of their duty. In a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the IMA association reiterated the concern about the prevailing number of COVID-19 infections and deaths among healthcare workers and exhorted that an Rs. 50 lakh solatium approved for all government staff should be given to the private sector.
Up till now, more than 2000 doctors have been infected to COVID across the country and 309 have succumbed to death, the IMA said in its second such letter to Prime Minister. The present central government earlier has announced an amount Rs 50 lakh insurance scheme to cover around 22 lakh government health care workers, including hospital staff, nurses, paramedics, technicians, doctors, and specialists. Speaking to Hello Vizag, Rajan Sharma, National President of IMA, said Covid-19 does not differentiate between the public and private sectors. Doctors and other healthcare workers in the frontline to save precious lives by exposing themselves to the risk of the infection.
Till now, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare had not released data on the number of infections among healthcare workers. As of 31st July, the Union healthy ministry received 131 claims from the families of healthcare workers who had died from Covid-19. In a clearly worded letter by the association said they were constrained to point out that the doctors and other healthcare staff in the private sector “could have stayed back at home to safeguard themselves. But, they preferred to serve the nation in the best traditions of the medical profession” it said in its fervent appeal to Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
At the same time, the doctors who have laid down their lives in protecting the precious lives of those infected with coronavirus should be treated on a par with the martyrs of the armed and acknowledged appropriately, the association said. On top of that, the association added, “the surviving spouse or dependents should be provided with a government job”. The president of the IMA further said that the association had learned through informal sources that the solatium in place had “failed to reach the unfortunate beneficiaries due to the inadequacy of the chosen instrument and indifference”. Calling for a dedicated system to administer to solatium, the IMA association shared the list of Doctors who had died from Covid-19 from the various states including one Paediatrician from Chandigarh, one radiotherapist from Patna, a neurosurgeon from Chennai, and one ophthalmologist from Kolkata. The association also said unequivocally many more general practitioners have died in Andhra Pradesh, Bengal, Bihar, Delhi, Gujarat, Haryana, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, and Uttar Pradesh.
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