New Delhi: The Indian Medical Association (IMA) has taken a strong objection to Health Minister Harsh Vardhan’s statement on Coronavirus in Parliament, which didn’t mention the death of healthcare workers due to COVID-19. Reacting sharply to it, the IMA on Wednesday published a list of 382 doctors who died due to the viral disease and demanded that they be treated as “martyrs”. Also Read - Coronavirus Update: Low Level of This Nutrient Can Increase Death Risk in COVID-19 Patients
Further, MoS Health Ashwini Kumar Choubey’s statement that public health and hospitals come under states and so insurance compensation data is not available with the Centre has not gone down well with the doctors’ body either. The IMA has accused the government of “abdication of duty and abandonment of the national heroes who have stood up for our people”. Also Read - Lucknow's Iconic Indian Coffee House Will Now Serve 'Kadha' to Boost Immunity Amid Pandemic
“The IMA (Indian Medical Association) finds it strange that after having formulated an unfriendly partial insurance scheme for the bereaved families to struggle with the ignominy of the government disowning them altogether stares at them,” the statement by the doctors’ body said. According to the IMA COVID-19 data on September 16, as many as 2,238 doctors were infected with the disease and of them 382 lost their lives, a senior official of the doctors’ body said. Also Read - COVID-19 Patients May Have Higher Risk of Kidney Damage: Study
Referring to Vardhan statement, the IMA said the 19th paragraph acknowledges the contribution of healthcare workers during this pandemic, but “conceals” the morbidity and mortality of doctors, nurses and healthcare workers.
Terming it “indifference”, the doctors” body said, “No nation has lost as many doctors and healthcare workers like India. Doctors suffer four times mortality of ordinary citizens and private practitioners suffer eight times mortality on the same scale.”
“To feign that this information doesn”t merit the attention of the nation is abominable. If the government doesn”t maintain the statistics of the total number of doctors and healthcare workers infected by COVID- 19 and the statistics of how many of them sacrificed their life due to the pandemic, it loses the moral authority to administer the Epidemic Act 1897 and the Disaster Management Act.”
“This also exposes the hypocrisy of calling them corona warriors on one hand and denying them and their families the status and benefits of martyrdom,” the IMA stated.
Publishing a list of 382 doctors who died in the COVID-19 pandemic, along with their addresses, it said, “We demand they be acknowledged and treated as martyrs.”
Their families and children deserve solace and solatium from the government, the IMA stressed.