National

Coronavirus | Indian Medical Association flags death of 196 doctors

A doctor conducts test inside the mobile COVID-19 testing bus in Visakhapatnam. File   | Photo Credit: K.R. Deepak

Close to 200 doctors, the majority of them general practitioners, have lost their lives to COVID-19 till August 7 according to information compiled and released by the Indian Medical Association (IMA), which has now written to the Prime Minister Narendra Modi asking him to urgently ensure that these “at risk healthcare workers and their families at least get assured treatment when infected”.

 

IMA has also submitted a detailed list of 196 doctors who have died due to COVID-19 so far, warning that these deaths are reaching alarming proportions. Deaths of doctors due to COVID-19 from various States include Tamil Nadu (43 deaths), Maharashtra and Gujarat (23 each), Bihar (19), Karnataka (15), Andhra Pradesh and Delhi (12 each).

As per the latest data collected by the IMA, of the 196 doctors who lost their lives to the virus, 170 of them were above the age of 50 years, with general practitioners attributing to around 40% of the deaths.

‘Disturbing reports’

The Association, which represents 3.5 lakh doctors spread across the country, said that there have been disturbing reports of doctors and their families not getting beds for admission, and have also lacked drugs in many cases.

Also read: A new doctor spends a month in hospital on COVID-19 duty

“We are disturbed by these reports where doctors and their family members are not getting beds for admission and [there is] deficiency of drugs in most of the cases. IMA thus requests the Government of India to provide adequate attention for the safety and welfare of doctors during the pandemic,” said Rajan Sharma, IMA, national president.

The IMA’s honorary secretary general R.V. Asokan said that the government must assure doctors of access to adequate hospital care.

“For doctors and their families who are at special risk, the government must ensure timely and standardised care. Every life saved of a doctor directly benefits the thousands of patients who depend on them for medical care,” he said.

Also read: Coronavirus | Only a matter of time, doctors say as they brace for their turn

The Association in its letter has also asked for extending state sponsored medical and life insurance facilities to doctors in all sectors. “A good percentage of doctors who have lost their lives are general practitioners,” said the Association, adding that these doctors, who have died in the line of their professional duty, merit favourable consideration for succour and solace to their families.

General practitioners vulnerable

“An increasing number of doctors are getting infected and losing lives due to COVID. General practitioners are usually the first contact for most patients and a significant proportion of the population consult them for routine fever and related symptoms. They also happen to spend quality time in consultation and practise clinical medicine. As of today, we have lost 196 of our doctors. It is pertinent to mention that COVID does not differentiate between government and private sector,” the Association noted.

“Also, it is pertinent to draw your attention to the demoralising effect to our healthcare community,” said the Association.

Related Topics
This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor

Printable version | Oct 28, 2020 12:11:16 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/196-doctors-have-lost-their-lives-to-covid-19/article32304800.ece

Next Story