July 1, 2021 4:34:34 am
The West Bengal unit of the Association of Health Service Doctors ( AHSD) – an umbrella organisation of doctors — has decided not to celebrate National Doctors’ Day on July 1 and instead observe the day to pay tribute to their colleagues who died in the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.
About 1,500 doctors and numerous health workers have died of Covid-19 across the country since the pandemic broke out. As many as 776 doctors succumbed to the infection during the second wave, including 62 in West Bengal, according to the Indian Medical Association (IMA).
While the West Bengal government has declared Doctors’ Day as a holiday, the Association of Health Service Doctors (AHSD) has demanded a permanent job for one family member of those doctors who lost their lives in the pandemic. The group has also demanded the construction of a memorial for doctors in every district centre and better safety and security at the workplace.
“Outdoor, indoor and emergency services, as well as Covid and non-covid treatment, will continue on Doctors’ Day. Physicians and health workers will also be at work. Public holidays, therefore, has no meaning as such. Rather, more respect to doctors and fulfilling their long-standing demands will be more welcomed,” said Professor Manas Gumta, general secretary of the West Bengal chapter of AHSD.
“The families of those who died due to Covid are not getting government insurance money. Even doctors suffering from Covid had to bear their treatment cost. Therefore, we will not celebrate Doctors’ Day this year instead will pay respect to those doctors who lost lives saving people,” said Gumta.
TMC MP Santanu Sen, who is also secretary of the West Bengal chapter of the Indian Medical Association said a doctor’s memorial will be constructed in the heart of Kolkata by the IMA.
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