Many of them were young professionals: IMA
As many as 650 doctors lost their lives during the ongoing second wave of COVID-19 in the country, J.A. Jayalal, national president of the Indian Medical Association, said on Sunday.
Addressing an online workshop for doctors on “Deciphering and dealing with deaths – facts and insights,” he said many of them were young and extremely bright professionals. He said India lost 753 doctors during first wave.
Recollecting the recent attack on a doctor in Assam, Dr. Jayalal said the medical fraternity was vulnerable to such attacks in the absence of adequate mechanisms to ensure their safety.
He said the pandemic had exposed the lack of dignity in deaths in India, with many bodies floating in the Ganga and people having to cremate bodies on roadsides. He said this had resulted in the National Human Rights Commission issuing an advisory to State and Union governments.
A number of doctors from across the country shared their expertise on different aspects of dealing with deaths in hospitals. Sudha Seshayyan, Vice-Chancellor, Tamil Nadu Dr. MGR Medical University, spoke on voluntary full-body donations.
She highlighted the need for clearer guidelines and clarity on registration for donation, intimation and transport after the donor dies and honouring those donated.
Ajay K. Kriplani, director, Fortis Memorial Research Institute, stressed the importance of effective and continuous communication with relatives on patients’ health.
Abhay Dalvi, president, Association of Surgeons in India, said there were government circulars stating that cases could be registered against doctors for the deaths of patients only after a medical committee finds ground for such legal action. “However, the police immediately register a case based on complaints,” he said.
Pawanindra Lal, executive director, National Board of Examination, stressed the need for introducing courses for medical students on empathy and effective communication at the undergraduate and postgraduate levels. Satyanarayan Sabat, ADGP, Lucknow, spoke on the importance of regular liaison and communication between hospitals and local police stations for effective handling of medico-legal cases and to avoid law and order problems.
Nilima Kadambi, chairperson, Doctors for Doctors (D4D) initiative, IMA, and M. Kanagavel, member, D4D initiative, IMA, coordinated the discussion.
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