Delhi govt recommends three top doctors for Padma Awards
Chief minister Arvind Kejriwal on Saturday said the Delhi government will recommend the names of ILBS director Dr SK Sarin, Lok Nayak Hospital medical director Dr Suresh Kumar and Max Healthcare clinical director (internal medicine) Dr Sandeep Budhiraja to the Centre for the upcoming Padma Awards this year.
Addressing a digital press briefing, Kejriwal said the three “Corona warriors” were picked from a list of 740 names suggested by 9,427 people. “It was a very difficult task... These three names will be forwarded to the Centre. These three doctors will, in a way, represent all the doctors and paramedics of Delhi. The doctors and paramedics served us selflessly during the entire pandemic, putting their own lives at risk. It is time to honour them,” Kejriwal said.
The recommendations are in line with Kejriwal’s announcement on July 27 that the Delhi government will nominate only doctors and healthcare workers this year for the Padma awards -- Padma Shri, Padma Bhushan and Padma Vibhushan -- this year. A committee led by deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia, and consisting chief secretary Vijay Dev and divisional commissioner Sanjeev Khirwar as members, screened 740 names sent by the public and shortlisted the three doctors for the awards.
Dr Sarin was instrumental in setting up ILBS -- the first-ever fully dedicated deemed-to-be liver university in the world -- in 2010. “He started the world’s first-ever plasma bank at ILBS. This plasma bank served people for 24 hours and on all 7 days of the week. Over 8,000 plasma units were issued from this plasma bank. He also started the first RT-PCR facility under the Delhi government. Recently, he also started Delhi’s first state-of-art Covid-19 genome sequencing facility. He has worked tirelessly for the last three decades, which include transforming medical education as well as increasing the awareness, prevention, and access to diagnosis and treatment for liver diseases. Throughout the Covid-19 wave, he has been working relentlessly to serve the people and provide assistance to the Delhi government,” Kejriwal said.
Lok Nayak Hospital, under Dr Kumar, treated the highest number of Covid-19 patients in the country, the CM said. “Under Dr Kumar’s supervision, Lok Nayak hospital successfully treated a record high of at least 20,500 Covid-19 patients. He started India’s second plasma bank at the hospital. He also started a unique video calling facility to enable Covid-19 patients to interact with their families. Further, he started a genome sequencing lab at Lok Nayak hospital. To meet the increased need for ICU beds during the Covid-19 period, he increased the number of ICU beds from 50 to 900 and also increased the number of oxygen beds by making more than 2,000 oxygen beds available,” Kejriwal said.
Dr Kumar also played an instrumental role in setting up a dedicated labour room for pregnant women infected with Covid-19 where more than 627 deliveries, including 266 successful caesarean sections, were performed, said a statement issued by the Delhi government. He also developed a dedicated 24x7 dialysis facility for Covid-19 patients with 17 dialysis machines, which provided assistance to 2,151 patients, it said.
Kejriwal said Dr Budhiraja is the country’s first physician to use plasma treatment for treating Covid-19 patients. “He played a crucial role in delivering care and treatment to Covid-19 patients in Delhi and North India... He was actively involved in the treatment of hundreds of Covid-19 cases through home care, OPD, and hospital (ward & ICU). Dr Budhiraja also provided guidance to Covid-19 patients via virtual consultancy when he himself got infected with Covid-19. He was also actively involved in spreading awareness and knowledge about Covid-19 through electronic and print media,” Kejriwal said.