17 Sep 2020: Coronavirus killed 382 doctors, angry IMA slams Modi government's apathy
Upset that Union Health Minister Dr. Harsh Vardhan didn't mention the death of healthcare workers due to coronavirus in his parliamentary address, the Indian Medical Association (IMA) published a list of 382 doctors, who lost their lives to the highly-contagious disease.
In the document, IMA slammed the Centre's indifference and demanded that deceased doctors are treated as martyrs.
Here are more details.
Statement: It appears doctors are dispensable, lamented IMA
The press statement, titled "Indifference and Abdication," was released late last evening, wherein the top Body ripped into the Centre for acknowledging healthcare workers' contribution in the COVID-19 battle on one hand but concealing information about doctors' deaths, on the other.
"This indifference to the sacrifice of doctors and healthcare workers is the reality of COVID-19. It appears they are dispensable," the statement added.
Details: India has lost the maximum number of doctors to COVID-19
IMA revealed that no country has lost as many doctors as India, adding that doctors and private practitioners suffer four and eight times the mortality rate as ordinary citizens, respectively.
"To feign that this information doesn't merit the attention of the nation is abominable," IMA said.
The IMA added this position exposes the government's hypocrisy — it calls doctors warriors but denies martyrdom status.
Reference: IMA spoke about soldiers, explained struggle of doctors
IMA also added that if the government doesn't maintain data on those who sacrificed their lives, then it "loses the moral authority to administer the Epidemic Act 1897 and the Disaster Management Act."
Citing soldiers' example, IMA said they don't bring back bullets to be shared with families.
Doctors, however, not only get infected but also expose their loved ones, IMA went on.
Exception: IMA accused the government of disowning bereaved families
The Body also took exception to MoS (Health) Ashwini Kumar Choubey's statement about compensation. He had said since public health and hospitals fall under states' jurisdiction, the Centre had no data on insurance compensation.
IMA called this "abdication of duty and abandonment of the national heroes who have stood up for our people."
Further, it slammed the government for disowning bereaved families.
Fact: Doctors below 30 also died of COVID-19, revealed IMA's data
As per the data released by IMA, of the 382 doctors who died, the youngest was 27 years old, and the oldest was aged 85. Reportedly, four doctors who died of the fatal disease were aged under 30.
Looking back: Earlier, IMA wrote to PM, sought "martyrdom" status for doctors
IMA's scathing note comes weeks after it shot off a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, seeking "martyrdom" status for doctors who died in the line of duty. It also demanded government jobs for dependents.
At the time, 87,000 healthcare workers were infected and 573 had died. Of the deceased, 307 were doctors, IMA had disclosed.
The deceased doctors included 188 general practitioners.
Fact: Doctors chose to serve the nation: IMA
"Doctors suffer a higher viral load and a higher CFR as a community. IMA is constrained to point out that they could have stayed back at home during the epidemic safely. They chose to serve the nation," the Body had informed the PM.