Families of five physicians who died of Covid-19 on the frontline will get Tk50 lakh each as the finance ministry has already disbursed the money.
The families will get the compensation from the government's Tk500 crore special allowance to tackle coronavirus health risks of the frontline medical personnel.
In 2020, the family of Dr Md Moyeen Uddin, an assistant professor of Sylhet MAG Osmani, received Tk50 lakh as compensation. Dr Moyeen was the first to die of Covid-19.
So far, Bangladesh has lost 145 physicians on Covid frontline.
Dr Ehteshamul Huq Choudhury, general secretary of the Bangladesh Medical Association (BMA) said thanks to the health ministry as the doctors are getting compensation even though it is late.
"The ministry should be more sincere so that the families of the remaining doctors who died on the frontline get the compensation without further delay," he told The Business Standard.
In another development, the government released incentives for the medical personnel for their contribution to the fight against the pandemic.
Health workers of 14 hospitals – 1,474 doctors, 408 nurses and 981 other medical personnel – will get the money equivalent to their two months' basic salary. The Health Services Division on 7 April issued instructions to pay Tk15.27 crore for this.
Dr Ehteshamul also applauded the incentives. He, however, requested the government also to provide the private hospital staff with such incentives so that they feel motivated too.
The five doctors whose families are to get the compensations are -- Dr Mohammad Mahmud Monwar, Dr SM Nuruddin Abu Al Baki, Dr Muhidul Hasan, Dr Muhammad Hossain and Dr Mohammad Samirul Islam.
Following the instructions of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, the finance ministry last year announced special incentives equivalent to two months' basic salaries to all healthcare professionals in public hospitals dedicated for Covid-19 treatment. Later, the Directorate General of Health Services was asked to send a list of all such doctors, nurses and other healthcare staffers to the health ministry.
Health workers have been beating all odds to save lives from the disease for the last one year, operating in an unsophisticated public healthcare system.
The lack of logistics and manpower that had all along been part of this system suddenly became apparent when doctors, nurses and technologists had to speak out, pressed against the pandemic.