18 May 2020


Judgments

Central Information Commission

Anita Singh v. Health & Family Welfare Department, GNCTD

MANU/CI/0110/2016

31.05.2016

Right to Information

Doctors risking life by exposure to deadly diseases no less than facing bullets

The Central Information Commission faced moral quandary hearing a plea for compensation from a mother of a young doctor who died from exposure to swine flu during his service with the Health and Family Welfare Department of Delhi.

The Chief Medical Officer upon receiving the RTI request from the deceased’s mother had transferred the application to other Departments, which percolated into a chain of transfers. It could not be explained why the CMO chose to transfer the application, let alone why to those particular departments, nor was it elaborated why none of the departments had no information on the issue.

The Commission’s sympathies lay with death of the doctor. It noted severally that the Delhi government awarded Rs. 1 crore in compensation to police officials who died in the line of duty; and the Deputy Chief Minister of Delhi had made statements about compensating personnel who “die in the line of duty”, though the same was made in the context of civil defence and home guards.

However, Delhi policy regarding compensation for a doctor’s family due to disease was unclear. It proffered, “No policy can discriminate life of a doctor from that of soldier for purposes of compensation. Deadly [disease] like swine flu is as [bad] as a killing assailant.” It called for uniformity in policy to encourage young doctors treating ailing citizens.

The Commission ordered the CMO to prepare a case for consideration before the Chief Minister of Delhi that compensation be given to families of doctors who were killed on duty.

Tags : government compensation death on duty doctor swine flu

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