Dr Harshindar Kaur’s open letter to CM Punjab; highlighted plight of medical staff
Kanwar Inder Singh/ royalpatiala.in
Dr Harshindar Kaur, working as Associate Professor in the department of Pediatrics, Government Medical College, Patiala, a recognised International Human rights activist and two time state award winner today wrote a letter to the Punjab CM Capt Amarinder Singh, demanding “Martyr” status for the doctors, who died while performing Covid duty in the state, hike in compensation and plight of medical staff while working performing Covid duties.
She said “I am writing this letter to you to bring to your kind notice certain facts that may have escaped your attention since you are burdened by various matters of the state. The people of Punjab placed their faith in you and made you the Chief Minister of the state. That is why I have taken the opportunity to write this letter to your good self. 18th of May 2021 is a black day for our medical fraternity of Rajindra Hospital, when we lost a young doctor in the fight against Covid. Dr Rajan Singla was all of 35 years and he had a bright future ahead of him. He was a surgeon working in the isolation wing and was diligently taking care of Covid patients. He sacrificed his life in the line of duty. Many others like him have lost their lives in similar circumstances and many have been afflicted with Covid more than twice. Some of them have also lost their parents to the disease. These doctors have been working untiringly and without any complaint for the last two years. Some of them did not receive their salary for six months but they have continued to trudge on nonetheless.”
She further highlighted “We doctors are fighting this battle like soldiers and will continue to do so in the future too. I want to bring to your notice that in some cases where the sick parents were deserted by their children, the doctors have taken upon themselves to treat them and in some cases they had to pack up the bodies themselves when the Class 4 employees shirked from performing their duty. We doctors have cleaned up the patients, picked up the beds and oxygen cylinders and provided food and drinking water to the serious patients. “
She added that “the shortage of essential medicines, Oxygen and protective equipment has not been able to desist us from putting our best foot forwards. We have worked tirelessly day in and out, not paid attention to our food and rest periods in an endeavour to save precious lives. “
She raises her concern about “the medical fraternity is facing the brunt of negativity in the social media because of deficiencies at the government level. The dependents of the expired patients are unable to come to terms with the untimely deaths of their loved ones and often their frustration is wrought upon us for none of our fault. The toxic state of affairs is creating negativity in the minds of doctors who have not been able to visit their families for long.”
She further added that the “Doctors have been supporting each other through these trying times but seeing death stalking the people of Punjab, many have developed depressive thoughts. I, as a part of the family of government doctors demand that:
- Doctors who lose their life in the line of duty taking care of Covid patients should be given the status of Martyr.
- In such circumstances, when there is shortage of trained and qualified medical personnel, the life of each doctor is extremely precious. His /Her family should be given a monetary compensation of Rupees One Crore.(The expense to produce a specialist doctor is much more )
- The safety and security of doctors should be ensured. Unable to bear the loss of life of their near and dear ones, the attendants often take law into their hands and doctors are targeted unfairly.
She pointed out that “the war against Covid cannot be won without doctors. They have to work in abysmal conditions and even drinking water is not available to them at times and the patients are also deprived of the same. In such conditions, the doctors need to be encouraged and feted for their hard work. Shortage of medicines and oxygen and other equipment along with poor promotion avenues forces many government doctors to resign and not many young doctors are willing to join the service. That is the reason that the state of Punjab is facing paucity of doctors and many Medical Colleges are facing closure. Free ambulance service needs to be made available in rural areas so that precious lives can be saved.”
“I Request you to kindly pay attention to these demands so that the morale of the family of government doctors is uplifted. I am sure that you will consider these demands as the just demands of a daughter of Punjab to her fatherly figure” said Dr Harshinder Kaur