Tamil Nadu

Compensation ordered to kin of doctor who died of COVID-19

The Madurai Bench of the Madras High Court has directed the Centre and the State to consider and provide compensation under Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Package Insurance Scheme for Health Workers Fighting COVID-19 to the family of a doctor from Tiruchi, who lost his life due to COVID-19 while treating patients.

The court was hearing the petition filed by B. Varalakshmi, the wife of Dr. Baskar. He was into private practice after retiring from government service in 2016. The doctor died on August 3, 2020. When the petitioner approached the authorities for compensation, it was not processed as RT-PCR test result could not be produced.

The petitioner was not in possession of the document as her husband was directly subjected to CT-Chest COVID screening test. Since RT-PCR test result was one of the documents insisted upon by the authorities, the petitioner moved the High Court. She had submitted all other documents to the authorities.

Justice N. Anand Venkatesh observed that the entire world was facing an unprecedented situation due to the attack of COVID-19. It was the doctors and the frontline workers who, in spite of knowing the risk involved through exposure to the virus, were selflessly and tirelessly working to save the lives of millions of people.

If not for the selfless services rendered by doctors, a major population of the country would have been wiped out. The least that should be done for a doctor, who lost his life due to COVID-19, was to acknowledge the selfless service and provide compensation to his family, the judge said.

It was clear from the CT-Chest COVID screening test that the husband of the petitioner was afflicted with COVID-19. When such a clinching document was available, there was no requirement for insisting on RT- PCR Test result.

In cases of this nature, the authorities must not stick to technicalities and the claim must be considered with more humanness with the available documents which clearly substantiated the fact that the husband of the petitioner was suffering from COVID-19, the judge said.

The scheme provides insurance cover of ₹50 lakh.

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Printable version | Jul 25, 2021 10:09:05 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/compensation-ordered-to-kin-of-doctor-who-died-of-covid-19-madurai-high-court/article34833049.ece

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