Treat doctors losing lives in COVID fight at par with martyrs of armed forces: IMA to PM

The Indian Medical Association has written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi asking that all doctors who have died of COVID-19 be treated at par with martyrs of the armed forces, and their dependents be provided government jobs in accordance with their qualifications.

In a letter to the prime minister, the country’s largest body of doctors said only an “inclusive national solatium” for all doctors who have lost their lives fighting the pandemic would render justice to the sacrifice of their families.

The IMA cited government data and said 87,000 healthcare workers had been infected and 573 of them had lost their lives due to COVID-19.

Noting that the data has raised concerns all across the country, the IMA said its data for doctors alone has registered 307 deaths and a total 2,006 infected. It said 188 of those died are general practitioners who are the first point of contact for people. “Doctors suffer a higher viral load and a higher CFR (Case Fatality Rate) 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 in the best traditions of the medical profession,” said the letter dated August 30. “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 surviving spouse or dependent should be provided a government job as per their qualifications,” the IMA said.