'Treat at par with armed forces martyrs': IMA asks PM Modi for inclusive solatium for doctors

Urging Prime Minister to acknowledge the casualties among doctors on the front-line during coronavirus disease outbreak, the Indian Medical Association on Sunday asked for inclusive national solatium for doctors and their families.

Citing government data, the IMA said 87,000 healthcare workers in the country have been infected by the virus and 573 of them have succumbed to the viral contagion. “The data has raised concerns all across the country. IMA’s data for doctors alone has registered 307 deaths as of today and a total of 2,006 infected. 188 of those who died are General Practitioners who are the first point of contact for people,” IMA wrote in its letter.

“All doctors who have laid down their lives in fighting this epidemic should be treated at par with the martyrs of Indian Armed Forces and acknowledged appropriately,” the letter by IMA stated.

Also read | 2.2 million health workers taking care of Covid-19 patients get special insurance

The authorities at IMA have also underlined that doctors suffer a viral load and higher Case Fatality Rate (CFR). It added, the surviving spouse or dependent should be provided a Government job as per their qualifications.

The letter to the prime minister comes almost five months after the government had announced a special insurance cover of Rs 50 lakh for doctors, nurses, paramedics, technicians, and other health care professionals involved in the care of patients. Around 2.2 million health workers were expected to be covered in this scheme.

Finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman, in March this year, had said that the government want to attend to the front-line warriors first, not forgetting the risks that they are putting themselves in by dealing with patients affected with coronavirus.“For them, we are providing an insurance cover. In the three months that they are exposing themselves to this virus – hopefully, by then this will be contained – we shall be providing ₹50 lakhs to each person as medical insurance cover in case they need it,” said Sitharaman.

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