Family struggles to fund treatment expenses of Covid-hit government doctor


Express News Service

NEW DELHI: With all savings dried up and no immediate financial help arriving from the government, the family of a doctor working with a state government hospital has now resorted to crowdfunding while he continues to battle for his life in a Hyderabad-based hospital.A family member of Dr Amit Gupta said so far they have spent around Rs 1.5 crore for his treatment. Dr Gupta, contracted Covid-19 in April while working at Satyawadi Raja Harishchandra Hospital run by the Delhi government. 

“So far we have collected around Rs 26 lakh via crowdfunding platform Ketto. Most of the money raised is from known families and friends and Dr Gupta’s colleagues who know him well. Not much has been received from strangers or acquaintances. Also, we don’t know how to spread the message of crowdfunding and where to share it,” said the relative.  The 39-year-old doctor was flown to Hyderabad on May 23 and since then his family, including wife, parents, a six-year-old son and sister, have taken up a rented accommodation in Secunderabad 

Since there was no bed available at the hospital where he worked, Dr Gupta was initially treated in his duty room and then was shifted to private hospitals — first to Shri Agrasen International Hospital and then to Medanta Gurgaon when his condition deteriorated. Later, he was flown to Yashoda Hospital in Hyderabad.

Doctors’ associations such as Federation of Resident Doctors Association (FORDA) wrote to Health Minister Satyendar Jain seeking financial aid to Dr Gupta as he was infected while being on duty. Responding to multiple requests, the health minister had on May 18 announced that the state will bear full expenses of Dr Gupta’s treatment.

However, the family member noted that no such aid has reached them. “Every time we seek an update, we are told that it is under process. Since the government said that it will bear his whole treatment cost, we expect that no matter what amount we are spending, it will be taken care of. We have borrowed more than Rs 1 crore from friends and relatives,” the relative added.

Dr Gupta now needs to undergo lung transplant and his family is looking for a donor.  “We had found one donor but at that time he was not keeping well. Now that his condition has improved and can undergo transplant we are looking for a donor,” the relative said.

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