New Delhi, May 19 (ILNS) The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) today issued notice to the Centre and the Delhi Government over alleged non-provision of any financial or insurance cover to the contractual doctors and para-medical staff engaged in COVID-19 duties.
The Commission asked the Union Ministry of Health and the Government of NCT, Delhi to consider providing adequate medical care and financial protection to all the contractual medical and para-medical staff deployed by the Centre or state governments to serve the patients. This may include getting medical insurance to facilitate their treatment in private hospitals in these testing times.
Issuing the notices to the Secretary, Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare and the Chief Secretary, Government of NCT of Delhi, the Commission asked them to submit an action taken report in the matter within two weeks.
They have also been asked to take immediate steps to provide adequate financial and other support to COVID-infected Dr Amit Gupta, Senior Resident Pediatrics of Satyavadi Raja Harishchandra Hospital, Delhi, admitted in ICU of Medanta hospital, Gurugram and not getting any financial support from the government on the ground that he was engaged on contract basis.
The Commission observed that it is a serious issue, if the contractual doctors/ resident doctors and paramedical staff of the Delhi Government and other Central Government hospitals are not getting life care medical facilities, when they fell ill during their service to save lives of the people during such pandemic situation. Presently, the country is already facing huge crisis of medical facilities and losing lives too.
It was further observed that it should not be forgotten that hospitals, beds, medicines and Oxygen may be arranged, but not the medical and para-medical staff to work on the ground level.
On one hand, the Welfare department of the country has provided a medical insurance of Rs five lakh to each of the poor family under the Ayushman Bharat Scheme and other such schemes; even casual labourers are covered under the ESIC scheme.
“But on the other hand, our Corona warriors – the contractual medical and the para-medical staff are constrained to work without any medical insurance or care to fight with the pandemic,” it observed.
The complainant alleged that Dr Gupta got infected with COVID-19. He was shifted to Maharaja Agrasen Hospital as he could not get a bed in his Hospital. However, there too, his condition deteriorated, and now he is undergoing treatment in Medanta Hospital, Gurugram.
Allegedly, the contractual doctors/resident doctors and para-medical staff in AIIMS are getting benefits of the Employees Health Services (EHS), but the contractual doctors/ resident doctors and para-medical staff of the Delhi Government and other Central Government hospitals are not getting similar facilities.
The Delhi Government is paying an ex-gratia of Rs one crore to the next of kin of the Corona warriors, but not taking care while they fall sick during the course of their public duties. ILNS/KR/RJ