As we celebrate the recovery of more than 3.47 lakhs COVID-19 patients in India, and over 5000 recoveries in Odisha on this National Doctors’ Day, we thank all our doctors, nurses, and medical professionals. The national recovery rate inches closer to 60%, while the state’s rate is over 70%.
In 1991, the Indian Government dedicated July 1 as the National Doctors’ Day to commemorate the birthday of Dr. Bidhan Chandra Roy, who was born on July 1, 1882 and died the same day in 1962. In his entire medical career, Dr. Roy exhibited immense dedication and hard work, even served as a nurse when necessary.
The Indian Medical Association observes the day every year to honour doctors for their dedication and selfless service. The theme of this year’s Doctors Day is ‘Lessen the mortality of COVID 19’. A perfect theme when doctors all over the country are trying to reduce the mortality rate, which is low compared to the rate of other countries. The mortality rate in Odisha is even lower compared to other states.
Despite their service and dedication, however, there have been several instances where doctors faced discrimination, stigma, harassment, even assaults in some parts of the country. Media reported numerous stories of doctors getting evicted from their rented houses, dealing with tantrums, and getting assaulted from patients and their relatives.
Nothing can be more worrying than the fact that those very people who are saving lives are being harassed, threatened, and attacked. This is the time to stand with our doctors and so that they can work at their level best.
Dr. Prayas Ray, Asst Professor of Dentistry at SCB Medical College and Hospital, said “During normal times, before the pandemic, we didn’t have to endanger our own lives to save our patients. But that’s what we have been doing since the outbreak. Professionals in the dentistry specialization work in close contact with the patients, so we are extremely careful about our personal hygiene and social distancing.”
Speaking about his schedule, he stated “Even though we are not in COVID wards, almost all of us have to isolate ourselves from our families because we spend the entire day with patients who may be infected. Since the onset of the pandemic we have been on roster duty and we are not allowed to take leaves.”
He added, “I would request everyone to maintain social distance and take care of themselves, especially the elders. All of us must be particular about hand hygiene, nutritious and balanced diet, and physical fitness.”
Dr. Pratik Swain, medical officer at Mahanga CHC, said “Since the onset of pandemic, there is chaos everywhere. Doctors and other medical staff from various states have suffered both physically and mentally. Entire doctor faculty have been divided into certain groups. A group will be assigned COVID duty for a week and thereafter they will remain in quarantine for 14 days.”
He added, “This pandemic has taught us many things. I want to point out one thing; one’s life or death is in the hands of God. We doctors try our best to save lives and are extremely pained when we fail sometimes in doing so. In the present situation we would urge everyone to maintain social distancing and maintain hygiene. That is the best way to help all doctors and medical staff now.”
On this National Doctor’s Day, we pay our tributes to all doctors around the country and worldwide. Working tirelessly day-in-day-out to save as many lives as they can, doctors and all medical staff are the true heroes and saviours.