When the news of corona-warriors dying of the very disease they are fighting against, rang bells in the ears of the government, the Ministry of Health announced an insurance cover of Rs 50 lakh for all the medical staff whether private or government or the community medicine workers. This would apply for a period of 90 days, beginning March 30. This scheme was announced under the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Package.
But we have also come across a multitude of cases all over India where doctors and other medical staff have complained of insufficient equipment and resources to protect them from the very disease they were fighting against. Although the government is doing everything in its power to fill those gaps too, the focus of the government should be to save the frontliners first, instead of waiting to pay their families after their demise.
How does the government think of getting back years of experience and expertise that is lost when a doctor dies? That experience and expertise which helped him save a myriad of lives dies with him. The government spends a lot of money ( for the public health care setting) in training these exceptional human beings. Doctors are exceptional beings because they endure a lot. You can not replace them ever with anything on earth.
One can not simply put a price tag on the life of a doctor who has saved, say a hundred lives, and improved the quality of life of a thousand others. Giving away lakhs on account of his demise will not get him back. Moreover, it will invariably be a great loss for the country. How will you quantify the immense mental, emotional, and physical training he had gone through to be a responsible doctor? Well, you simply can’t. So, one can not pay some lakhs and do away with the loss of a doctor! Even crores of money will not suffice to pay up for the loss.
“A doctor is someone priceless for his country. Treat him like a person, not like an asset you can put a price tag on”.
Also, the government should acknowledge the fact that it can’t win a fight without equipping those on the frontline with their requirements. Its indeed a fight ( the COVID ) for all of us, but those on the frontline need to be protected first.
How can you think of dealing with the crisis without taking care of the frontliners first?
Who will save when the savior is not safe?
Doctors and medical staff should be given the required medical equipments, better working conditions, and the respect that is their due.
The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of The Eastern Herald.