MYSURU: On Tuesday, 66-year-old Dr Venkatesh, a resident of Nanjangud in Mysuru, succumbed to Covid-19. He is the 43rd doctor in Karnataka to die of the disease while battling a pandemic that has tragically claimed thousands of lives the world over. Indian Medical Association data shows 43 doctors on the frontlines of the pandemic died of Covid-19 since March, with the highest casualties in Bengaluru and Mysuru regions. Data shows seven doctors each from Bengaluru and Mysuru died of the illness and of the 43 doctors who died, 21 were aged 60-69 and five were above 70 years.
Data available with TNIE show that over 14 doctors were in the 40-59 age group, and three were between 27-37 years old. IMA data shows that over 80% of the deceased doctors were affiliated with private hospitals, nursing homes and clinics. While most of them were general practitioners and physicians, the number also included psychiatrists, ENT specialists, gynaecologists, radiologists, anaesthetists.
The medical community is enraged that many of the deceased doctors have not yet received government compensation they were privately employed. “We submitted a memorandum to Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa, appealing that the government include private doctors under the state insurance cover of Rs 50 lakh, but have not received a response. We have also requested the government to compensate doctors called for duty according to the Seventh Pay Commission guidelines,” said Dr Madhusudhana Kariganuru, president of the Indian Medical Association, Karnataka.