What’s the history and significance of National Doctor’s Day

The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has once again brought forward the need to honour the hard work of doctors and other healthcare professionals.
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India celebrates July 1 as National Doctor’s Day every year, commemorating the birth and death anniversary of former West Bengal Chief Minister Dr Bidhan Chandra Roy – one of India’s most renowned physicians. The day enables us to show gratitude to doctors who selflessly help us in our time of need, and tirelessly work for the better health of their patients.

Highlighting the sacrifice made by doctors and physicians, Prime Minister Narendra Modi remembered Dr BC Roy in his weekly edition of ‘Mann ki Baat’ on Sunday.

He said, "On July 1, we will celebrate National Doctors' Day. We must pay tribute to our doctors who ensured that India did not succumb to the challenges posed by COVID-19."

History of National Doctor’s Day

Organised by the Indian Medical Association, National Doctor’s Day is dedicated to the efforts of all doctors and healthcare professionals who put the lives of others before their every day. IMA first celebrated National Doctor’s Day in 1991 in honour of West Bengal Chief Minister Dr BC Roy to recognise his contribution to serving humanity.

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Dr Roy was born on July 1, 1882, and passed away on the same date in the year 1962. He was felicitated with Bharat Ratna on February 4, 1961 for his contribution to the field of medical science. He played an instrumental role in establishing several premier medical institutions, including the likes of Jadavpur T.B. Hospital, Chittaranjan Seva Sadan, Kamala Nehru Memorial Hospital, Chittaranjan Cancer Hospital, and Chittaranjan Seva Sadan.

Celebrating doctors

While National Doctor’s Day has always been a day to celebrate the valiant efforts of healthcare professionals and their contribution to building the country, the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has brought the significance of their professions to the forefront. Since March 2020, doctors and healthcare professionals have been leading the fight against the pandemic and have played a key role in saving thousands, if not millions, of lives.

They have put forward the need of the nation above even their own lives. Instead of thinking about their and their family’s safety, they have prioritised serving the nation as frontline warriors against COVID-19.

Edited by Kanishk Singh

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