MYSURU: All Covid-related duties at major government hospitals and Covid war room came to a standstill in Mysuru after healthcare professionals remained off duty following the suicide of Nanjangud taluk health officer. However, emergency services remained unaffected.
Dr Nagendra S R, who played a major role in preventing the spread of coronavirus during the Nanjangud pharmaceutical company cluster incident, committed suicide allegedly due to work-related harassment and mental stress, at his residence in the city on Thursday.
The news of his death spread fast and many healthcare professionals, including doctors, nurses, health workers and Group D employees from across the district, gathered in front of the District Health Office (DHO). They protested with Nagendra’s body, forcing senior district administration officials to rush to the spot.
Colleagues and healthcare workers alleged that Dr Nagendra was under pressure from seniors to achieve targets in rapid antigen tests in his taluk. Several doctors accused ZP CEO Prashanth Kumar Mishra of abetting Dr Nagendra’s suicide. They alleged that Mishra was pressurising the health official to achieve the targets and had also demanded his suspension.
“Dr Nagendra was working tirelessly for the last six months. Though he did an exceptional job, there was huge pressure on him to do ten times more tests than what he was doing. A lot of pressure was put on him by the ZP CEO, who should be immediately suspended and criminal proceedings started against him,” said Dr H N Ravindra of the Indian Medical Association (IMA), Karnataka chapter. Doctors said they will stay away from duty, except for emergency services, till the state government takes action against Mishra.
Sudhakar mourns DHO’s death
Medical Education Minister Dr K Sudhakar mourned the death of Dr Nagendra and said he is in touch with District in-charge Minister S T Somashekhar on steps to be taken. “I have ordered an inquiry and requested asked Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa to announce a relief of `30 lakh immediately, to which he has agreed,” he said. Recently, Periyapatna taluk health officer Dr Nagesh died after a heart attack, and his family members alleged that it was due to work pressure.