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Coronavirus | 119 deceased Bihar doctors’ families yet to get compensation

Medics wearing protective suits sitting at a COVID-19 ward at Nalanda Medical College and Hospital (NMCH), in Patna. File photo   | Photo Credit: RANJEET KUMAR

Compensation has not reached the families of the doctors who have died in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic in Bihar. Only one of 120 dead has got it.

The Bihar chapter of the Indian Medical Association (IMA) has submitted memoranda to the government several times in this regard but “the government is yet to respond”.

The Central government had announced a compensation of ₹50 lakh to the family of a doctor who dies of COVID-19. The State government too had announced ₹4 lakh as compensation.

In the 14-month pandemic period, 120 doctors have lost their lives till May 14 - 42 in the first wave last year and 78 in the second one this year.

Family members of Dr. Avinash Kumar, who was the first doctor to die due to COVID-19 in June 2020, are still waiting for the compensation.

“Out of all family members, only those of Rati Raman Jha, who was the civil surgeon of Samastipur, have got the compensation, while approval for the same has been given to those of five doctors but the rest are still awaiting”, former IMA president, Bihar chapter and member of the central working committee, Dr. Sacchidanand told The Hindu.

The IMA had written to the government for compensation and other facilities to the working doctors “several times but we’re yet to get any response of any of our letters from the State government”.

“However, family members of some of the doctors may receive the compensation amount in a day or two”, IMA secretary Dr. Sunil Kumar said.

‘Hike compensation’

The association demanded that the government should raise the compensation amount from ₹4 lakh to ₹20-25 lakh.

“It appears that both the Central and State governments have forgotten the services rendered by the doctors in this adverse condition whom they have declared as front line workers. Such a move by the governments in delaying compensation to the families certainly demoralises the working doctors”, stated Dr. Sacchidanand.

“In several hospitals, doctors have been working for long hours while being away from their family to treat COVID-19 patients, but when they die, the government prefers to forget what it had announced,” rued Dr. Atul Verma of Hajipur. “It is stressful”, he added.

Bihar has so far reported 6,37,679 positive cases, with 89,563 active ones till May 14. However, 3,670 people have died in the State with 85.63% recovery rate. The State’s recover rate, though, has showed improvement on May 14 by 1.23% from 84.15% on May 13.

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Printable version | Jun 25, 2021 3:55:58 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/coronavirus-119-deceased-bihar-doctors-families-yet-to-get-compensation/article34563279.ece

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