Doctors who died during the Covid pandemic have been remembered with a sculpture unveiled in their honour.

The names of 50 doctors who died caring for patients were read at a memorial service in London organised by the British Medical Association (BMA).

More than 80% of the doctors who were remembered at the event were from ethnic minorities, the BMA said.

Its council chairman, Dr Chaand Nagpaul, said the sculpture would stand in memory of their bravery.

Sculptor Richard Tannenbaum said his stone piece of a continuous loop showed the public are “inextricably linked” with NHS workers who lost their lives caring for them.

Dr Nagpaul said: “It’s a cruel tragedy in saving the lives of tens of thousands of patients, so many doctors lost their own. Their deeds will inspire generations long after the pandemic had passed.”

He added the country owed a “debt of gratitude” to doctors from overseas who died working in the UK.

“They continued to work through the crisis, some separated from families also at risk in other parts of the world,” he said.

“The pandemic has brought into sharp focus the immeasurable and vital contribution of our multicultural workforce to our nation.”

Pamela Foley, whose husband Mr Amged El-Hawrani died in March 2020, said the service was a “crucial opportunity” to acknowledge the selflessness of health workers who died.

She said: “I also feel that this memorial allows me and my family to reclaim part of the experience we lost when we were prohibited from a traditional funeral and memorial service.”

Sculptor Richard Tannenbaum said the sculpture shows the link between the public and NHS workers

BMA president Prof Neena Modi said she understood the anger of families and welcomed the government’s decision to include in its Covid inquiry discussion of how the UK will protect its workforce in the future and maintain personal protective equipment (PPE) stocks.

She said: “Those who care, deserve to be cared for as well.”

A minute’s silence was also observed at the service – attended by family and friends of the doctors – at the BMA’s headquarters in Tavistock Square, central London.


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