Bangalore: Karnataka Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa ordered Friday an inquiry into the suicide of a government doctor. The government doctor was handling COVID-19 cases in a taluk. The doctor committed suicide allegedly due to severe work pressure. BS Yediyurappa also announced an ex-gratia of Rs 50 lakh for the family of Nanjangud Taluk (Mysuru district) Health Officer, Dr SR Nagendra.
“Dr S R Nagendra has said he was committing suicide as he was frustrated due to the harassment by his superiors. I will order a detailed inquiry into the matter to find out the truth behind the incident,” Yediyurappa told reporters.
Yediyurappa expressed his sorrow over Dr Nagendra taking his own life at his residence. The doctor committed suicide at his residence in Alanahalli Thursday morning.
“Generally Rs 30 lakh is given to the doctors who die in line of duty. Considering this as a special case, Rs 50 lakh will be given (to his family). I have also decided to give a government job to anyone of the family,” the CM said.
Later, the Chief Minister said the inquiry will be completed in seven days. He also said that besides the Rs 50 lakh, whatever is due will be given to the next of the kin. The dues will be paid expeditiously.
Meanwhile, an audio conversation purportedly between Nagendra and a senior district level officer has gone viral. In it the officer is heard taking Dr Nagendra to task for not conducting enough tests.
“How many swabs have to be taken and how many are you extracting? Is it a joke? Have you come here to play? You are playing with the patients. For a week if you are conducting only 25 or 26 (COVID) tests (a day). I will teach you a lesson. You were supposed to do 150 tests a day,” the officer is heard shouting at Dr Nagendra.
The situation in Nanjangud was tense following protests over Dr Nagendra’s death.
A doctor representing the medical fraternity on coronavirus duty in Mysore, Dr Ravindra had a lot to say. He poured out the woes of medical professionals Karnataka Medical Education Minister Dr K Sudhakar. The latter is in charge of coronavirus management in Karnataka.
“Look at the attendance register. Ever since the outbreak of coronavirus, Nagendra has not taken any leave. He was staying alone for six months because he was afraid that his family may get the coronavirus. Yet he has been criticised,” a teary eyed Dr Ravindra told Dr Sudhakar.
The Karnataka State Medical Doctors Association (KSMDA) has threatened to go on a statewide strike over the matter.
“We will go on statewide strike from Monday if those responsible for Dr Nagendra’s death are not suspended. Barring emergency cases, no cases will be taken up from Monday,” Dr Gulur Srinivas, president, KSMDA said Friday.