In this second instalment of a two-part special series, iGlobal? pays tribute to the medics and clinicians from India who have lost their lives while battling coronavirus and trying to save others on the National Health Service (NHS) frontline.
As the debate around firmer action to tackle the higher Covid-19 risk faced by ethnic minority key workers rages on, these names are a stark reminder of why the recent Public Health England (PHE) review must urgently be taken forward to throw up recommendations to tackle health inequalities in the UK.
Prem Lal worked as an Associate Practitioner in Histopathology at Wexham Park Hospital in Berkshire. She is remembered as a mother figure? at the hospital, where she died after being treated by colleagues in the intensive care unit. Prem was described by her NHS Trust as a dedicated, highly valued and respected? colleague, who was popular with her teammates.
Dr Masson, a GP in South Essex for more than three decades, is remembered as an honest, kind and generous man who was deeply respected?. The 78-year-old completed his medical training in India and also worked as a doctor in East Africa.
In 1985, he founded Milton Road Surgery, where he worked until 2017, before going on to locum work across Thurrock and Basildon. His family described him as an excellent clinician? with a drive to constantly improve his clinical skills and knowledge with passion and enthusiasm. Dr Masson was well-known locally and recognised as a dedicated, determined, positive? individual, who would always do his utmost to help in all endeavours.
Dr Nair, 56, originally from Kerala in India, came to the UK in 1994 and followed her dream of becoming a doctor. She was a GP at Bishop Auckland, County Durham, and is described by colleagues as someone whose heart was with the NHS and her patients?. An online fundraiser set up in her memory to raise 2,000 for the ITU at the University Hospital of North Tees & Hartlepool, where Dr Nair lost her battle with coronavirus, has raised over 13,000.
Dr Pacheeri, an 80-year-old gynaecologist, had a long career with the NHS, having worked in several hospitals across the UK. A native of Perinthalmanna in Kerala, southern India, he graduated in the second batch from Government Medical College, Kozhikode, and was a mentor to many young medical graduates who came to work in the UK from Kerala. The Birmingham-based medic was practising as a locum at the time of his death.
As a locum pharmacist, Jayesh is remembered as a dedicated? professional who served his local community. The 53-year-old, who studied pharmacy at Sunderland University, died at Epsom General Hospital in Surrey in April. He was a humble, simple person who liked the simple things in life. He was warm, approachable and yet a man of principle, said his brother-in-law Bharat Patel.