Govt mulling formation of Welfare System for healthcare workers

Irfan Tramboo
Srinagar, Aug 10: With healthcare workers facing the brunt of COVID-19 pandemic and doctors pitching for the immediate creation of ‘Health Care Workers Welfare Fund System,’ the Government today said that the initiative of this sort is under ‘active consideration’.
The doctors have been demanding the formations of such a fund system on the lines of one already existing in the Police Department-so that the members of the fraternity are helped in the wake of any need.
The demand, while it has been a long pending, was intensified after a doctor contracted COVID-19 infection and later died. So far, two doctors have died of COVID-19 in Kashmir.
For the establishment of the Health Care Workers Welfare Fund System, it has been learned that the file is already in the Secretariat, but, has not moved further so far due to unknown reasons.
Financial Commissioner, Health & Medical Education (H&ME) Atal Dulloo told EXCELSIOR that that recently the Lieutenant Governor has stated that the financial benefits to be given to healthcare workers.
“While nothing has been approved yet, but the benefits that are to be given are under active consideration of the Government,” he said.
He also said that what will be announced will be in line with what is already in place in the Police Department.
Several doctor’s bodies told Excelsior that in the absence of risk allowances to the healthcare workers, there is a dire need of establishing such a welfare fund system for the betterment of the fraternity in the times of need.
Dr Suhail Naik, President Doctors Association Kashmir (DAK) told EXCELSIOR that there is a need of having such a system in place in which the Govt deducted some amount from the salary of the doctors and the same amount would be then used in case of any exigency faced by any member of the fraternity.
“The Govt has to do nothing, but to nod its formation; if they will not do it, we might end up forming it on our level, because we have to understand that the doctors are at greater risk and there is a need of taking care of it,” he said.
Meanwhile, the DAK has urged the Lieutenant Governor, Manoj Sinha to sponsor one child of Dr Ashraf Mir who died of COVID-19 for MBBS so that the legacy of their father continues.
It also demanded a special reservation in medical colleges for kith and kin of all those coronavirus warriors who might succumb to COVID illness.