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Bihar Human Rights Commission declares Covid doctors eligible for insurance

The order brought cheer among the medical fraternity in the state
Representational image.
Representational image.
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Dev Raj   |   Patna   |   Published 18.11.21, 01:10 AM

The Bihar Human Rights Commission has declared that the families of the doctors working in private hospitals, who died while rendering Covid-19 related services, are also eligible for Rs 50 lakh compensation under the Centre’s “insurance scheme for health workers fighting Covid-19”.

The scheme is a part of Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Package.

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The BHRC order came in a suo motu case instituted by it after taking cognizance of news reports on the death of doctors during the second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic this year.

“Director-in-chief health services and additional secretary state health department submitted reports, which informed about medical and other personnel engaged in the work to curb and treat Covid-19 in government hospitals being covered under the ‘insurance scheme for health workers fighting Covid-19’. They will be given Rs 50 lakh by insurance companies if they die…,” BHRC chairperson, justice (retired) Vinod Kumar Sinha said in the order.

Sinha in his order pointed out that a few private medical institutions have been asking whether their personnel would be covered under this scheme or not.

“The eligibility criteria details mentioned by the ministry of health and family welfare make it clear that the doctors and other personnel of private hospitals from whom Covid-19 related services were taken are also eligible under the insurance scheme,” Sinha added.

His order came on October 7, but it was conveyed to the Bihar branch of the Indian Medical Association (IMA) on Wednesday (November 17).

The order brought cheer among the medical fraternity in the state. They hailed it because the state saw a large number of doctors — private and government — succumbing to Covid-19 pandemic.

“Altogether 170 doctors died of Covid-19 since March 2020 while discharging their duty during the pandemic.

“Of them, forty were from the government hospitals while the rest 130 were from private hospitals. Each of them should be provided Rs 50 lakh insurance amount as compensation,” IMA Bihar branch president Ajay Kumar said.

Kumar pointed out that the state government has been dragging its feet in this matter and making excuses that the doctors working in private hospitals were not drafted by it to provide Covid-19 related services.

“However, the Bihar government’s notification issued on March 17, 2020 made it mandatory for all government and private hospitals to have flu corners for screening of suspected cases of Covid-19.

“It also asked all such institutions and private medical practitioners to notify such cases to the concerned district surveillance unit, and threatened with punishment under Section 188 of the Indian Penal Code if they failed to do so,” Kumar said.

The IMA Bihar branch president said that the BHRC order has come as a relief for the kin of the doctors who laid down their lives while working against Covid-19 in the state.

“The BHRC has laid to rest any confusion in this regard. The state government should now quickly provide Rs 50 lakh compensation or insurance money to the kin of the each of the deceased doctors,” Kumar added.

Kumar also said that the IMA would appeal to the BHRC and also move court if the government fails in providing the compensation.



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