DailyPost 1742

Gods on Earth as we call them, has never been so true as in the last 16 months. The National Doctor’s Day has just gone past us on the 1st of July. It has been by far the worst year in the history of medical practitioners in living human memory, where they literally became the saviours of mankind. They enabled us to see proverbial   light at the end of the tunnel. They have not been trained for a battlefield, but what they had to face has been worse than the battlefield and continues to this day in some theatres of corona war. Frontline warriors we call them, but can we even imagine living in such terrifying conditions even for a day. In a country where wearing a mask seems to be curtailing fundamental rights, they have been struggling with viruses to save others infected.

Realizing fully well that they are as prone to infection as any other human being, they endlessly stood as the sentinel of humanity, when all others had failed. Initially even the numbers of doctors infected and dying out of this deadly disease was not known. If we try to remember you would have read this news item,  ”Mob denies burial to Chennai doctor after Covid-19 death, many ask if clapping hands is enough.” The news is dated 21st of April, 2020 and the doctor was Dr Simon Hercules. A society which cannot respect its saviours even in death, one falls short of words to describe both the tragedy and the world. Still the doctors remained committed to the society they were mandated to serve. Their commitment to their job was way beyond the Hippocratic Oath they took at the time of their entry into medical  profession.

There were hospitals where salaries were not paid, there was hardly anything done to elevate the physical, mental and financial well-being. Society and government should have lauded them like was heroes day in and day out. Whether they ask for it or not, what has been the compensation given by governments and various organizations to the slain heroes. Seeing your child’s birthday from a window or a doctor holding the hands of the dying with a shattering regularity is not what most professionals can handle. Where did they get the chance to be trained in this? With 800 doctors dying only in the Second Wave, was it not proper for the nation to bow its head, at a National Doctor’s Memorial, which could have been dedicated to the nation on the Doctor’s Day.

The medical superintendents gasped for breath to arrange oxygen for their patients, who were tied to the delicate thread of life on the availability of this gas. Imagine the mental state of doctors in those ICUs and the hospital management outside. Was it not worse than a battlefield?  Was preparation not a far cry? With the most sought-after medicines being in short supply, they had to face the ire of their relatives / mobs. It even led to physical attacks on doctors. Corona battle at times turned out to be a battle with hands tied to the back, still these doctors have saved us from the worst. Is it not high time to have a National Medical Corpus, a contingency fund to take care of the doctors in dire need and of the families in case of death. This National Doctor’s Day the country should have told the medical fraternity that they are our Valentine and we can do anything for them.


Sanjay Sahay

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