IMA sets up fund for COVID Martyrs
New Delhi: The Indian Medical Association (IMA) recently established a fund dedicated to its member doctors who have died in the line of duty while battling the COVID-19 pandemic.
Confirmation to this effect was given by the President of the Association, Dr Rajan Sharma, who by powers vested by Bye-laws 37 F proclaimed that IMA institutes a dedicated fund to financially help the families of IMA members who are Covid 19 martyrs.
However, it has been clarified that this will exclude the families who have access to the Government solatium and compensation as well as the doctors who were more than 70 years of age.
This came in wake of the Covid 19 pandemic that has had a serious impact on members of IMA who are in the frontline of Covid care and control. As of today, 624 modern medicine doctors have sacrificed their lives in the service of the nation for Covid care.
Therefore, in accord with the relevance and privilege of object III 2 of the memorandum of the Association, that directs and empowers IMA to uphold the interest of the medical profession, Methods IV 12 of the memorandum that empowers to raise money by donations and IMA Benevolent Fund 70 A, the association will be sourcing funds from the donations raised from the members and the public including registered firms. This will be parked separately in the name of IMA.
Meanwhile, the contribution from the IMA Benevolent Fund, the quantum of which would be decided by the National President to be ratified by the Central Working Committee will be transferred to this dedicated account and will form the seed money.
IMA has also laid certain eligibility criteria for financial help that reads;
a. The deceased should have been a life member of the Indian Medical Association on the date of death.
b. The cause of death of the member should be due to Covid 19 disease.
c. The member should have been in active practice while acquiring Covid 19.
d. The deceased member should be below the age of 70 years at the time of death.
e. The deceased member should not be eligible for any grant or compensation from the Central or State Governments.
However, the association will also have a flexible approach towards the criteria set for the eligibility of the martyr's fund.
"Irrespective of membership and age the case of a modern medicine doctor who has martyred in the service of the nation in Covid 19 will be taken up by the National President of IMA by an appeal from the family if there are genuine situations of need for help," IMA clarified.
The body further informed that the legal heir of the deceased member of the Indian Medical Association can apply for financial help . The legal heir can submit the application to the local branch secretary of IMA who will forward it through the State Secretary of IMA to the Honorary Secretary General of IMA. The local branch secretary or the state secretary or the Honorary Secretary General can initiate the process suo moto as well.
The applications and sanction money to the applicant will be scrutinized by a team consisting of the president, immediate past president, president-elect, vice presidents as per jurisdiction, secretary-general, and finance secretary. However, the financial condition of the deceased's family would determine the quantum of monetary help.
"The Quantum of money to be paid will be decided by the National President in consultation with the above team of office bearers as per the availability of funds. The quantum will be determined as per the family situation including employment, income, children, assets, liabilities etc. The money will be paid to the legal heir. In case of more than one legal heir, the money will be divided equally between the heirs," it informed.
Elaborating on the operations, the Association stated that the fund will be operated as per the rules and byelaws of the Indian Medical Association, scrutiny and oversight of the accounts will be done by the Finance Standing Committee of IMA, while the accounts shall be audited by the auditor of IMA and HSG shall formulate the operational procedures and the application form.
"If there is an excess of funds after disbursal at the end of one year the money will be transferred to the IMA Benevolent Fund," it added.