1.5 months on, seriously-ill doctor awaits help; Delhi govt says process underway

·2-min read

New Delhi, Jul 4 (PTI) A coronavirus positive doctor, who contracted the infection while working at Satyawadi Raja Harishchandra Hospital here, has not received any financial help from the Delhi government so far despite an assurance from Health Minister Satyendar Jain, family members claimed on Sunday, while the government said the process was underway.

'The Delhi government is standing besides Dr Amit Gupta and his family. We are with them in this difficult time. The process of providing financial assistance to the family is underway,' a statement said.

The 39-year-old doctor is on ECMO support at a Hyderabad-based hospital since May 22. Around Rs 1.5 crore has already been spent on his treatment, a family member said.

The Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation (ECMO) procedure costs around Rs 2 lakh a day.

ECMO is a machine that mimics the functions of the heart and lungs. It helps in pumping and oxygenating the blood outside the body, allowing the lungs and the heart to rest.

The family, including the wife, a six-year-old son, parents and a sister, shifted to a rented accommodation in Secunderabad in May.

“We had submitted medical bills totalling Rs 84 lakh to the Delhi government around a month ago. We have been following up with the officials, but no help has come our way so far,” the family member claimed.

Fighting against time, the family started a crowdfunding project and has been able to collect Rs 26 lakh.

“We have taken loans worth more than Rs 1 crore from friends and relatives. All our savings have dried up,” the family member said, adding the work contracts of Gupta and his wife have not been renewed.

“We have no option but to keep fighting. We are urgently looking for a donor for lung transplant now,” she said.

Gupta had worked in the Covid ward of the Satyawadi Raja Harishchandra Hospital for over a year. He first experienced Covid symptoms on April 19 and tested positive two days later.

Since there was no bed available at the hospital, his colleagues treated him in the duty room and did their best, the family member said.

He was taken to Shri Agrasen International Hospital when his condition deteriorated and later to Medanta Hospital in Gurgaon on May 11.

Later, he was flown to Yashoda Hospital in Hyderabad.

On May 18, Health Minister Satyendar Jain had tweeted that the Delhi government will take care of the medical expenses of Gupta.

“Our corona warriors are our strength and the Delhi government stands with them in these tough times,” the minister had said.

Citing Gupta's case, the Federation of Resident Doctors Association (FORDA) had also written to Jain, requesting him to provide cashless treatment facility for infected doctors admitted in hospitals.

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