The Deccan Herald Healing Hands initiative identified and felicitated as many as 44 doctors and hospitals at an award ceremony at Radisson Blu hotel here on Saturday evening, for their relentless and tireless efforts to help Covid patients during the pandemic.
A three-member jury of eminent doctors - Dr Radha S Murthy, Dr N Gandhi and Dr N Prabhudev - selected these doctors and hospitals out of 55 nominations.
But, in the words of The Printers Mysore Limited CEO Sitaraman Shankar, the newspaper wishes to express its gratitude even to those healthcare providers who could not be felicitated on Saturday.
The CEO, in his opening remarks, said, "From across the country, we have heard stories of young doctors who walked away from family and friends to dedicate their hours to fighting Covid, some of whom tragically became victims of the infection themselves, of those handling the Covid dead to children who were shunned by friends for getting infected."
"There were nurses who weren't in the limelight. Across the length and breadth of this country, the pandemic multiplied the challenges for specialists who tended to patients with great dedication. It is important to state that this recognition is a symbol of gratitude for a job done fantastically well. It doesn't necessarily imply that those who weren't recognised today are any less in any way," he added.
Across five categories - Shining Star, Leading Light, Centre of Excellence, Covid Warriors, and Lifetime Achievement - 31 doctors and 13 hospitals were awarded plaques for their work during the pandemic.
BBMP commissioner N Manjunath Prasad, one of the guests at the event who gave away the awards, said, "In Bengaluru, we have admitted 53,000 Covid patients in different hospitals. The amount of dedication and work doctors have shown has no parallel in history. They saw patients day and night and that is why Bengaluru's Covid fatality rate is one of the lowest in the world."
BBMP east zone Covid nodal officer Dr Bhaskar Rajakumar, Covid nodal officer at Rajiv Gandhi Institute of Chest Diseases senior consultant pulmonologist Dr Deepak U G, and Dr Pratesh Rohan Kiran from the Department of Community Health of St John's Medical College were the three Covid warriors awarded.
Cardiologist and Padma Shri recipient Dr B Ramana Rao, who has been offering free consultations to people in rural areas for the past 36 years, and paediatric cardiac surgeon from Sri Jayadeva Institute of Cardiovascular Sciences and Research Dr P S Seetharama Bhat were given Lifetime Achievement awards.
Dr Pretesh Rohan Kiran, Department of Community Health, St John's Medical College (Covid Warriors award):
I was deputed to the war room by the government and helped in the bed management. I was also deputed to the directorate of medical education, where I served as a cluster head for the 17 medical college hospitals. We assessed infrastructure in terms of oxygen, beds, ICU facilities etc. Now that the Covid bed management system will be restarted, the already mapped out resources will help.
Dr P S Seetharama Bhat, Paediatric Cardiac Surgeon, Jayadeva hospital (Lifetime Achievement):
"I operated on a two-to-three-month-old baby girl's heart whose body had turned blue in 1998. She was from a poor family in north Karnataka. Years later she came to meet me and said she had just finished her MBBS. I also did the first switch surgery that marks the arrival of cardiac surgeons in a way.
Dr. Devananda N S, HOD & Consultant for Cardiothoracic Vascular surgery, Manipal Hospital (Leading Light award):
"This recognition belongs to all 60 healthcare providers in my unit. Such recognition is a boost to the doctors. Be it open heart surgeries or heart lung surgeries during the pandemic, it wouldn't be possible without the post operative care provided by nurses who aren't in the limelight."