Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday initiated a series of measures to augment the availability of medical professionals as the government battles to find ways to cope with a raging second wave of covid-19 that has severely stretched India’s healtchare infrastructure
NEW DELHI :
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday initiated a series of measures to augment the availability of medical professionals as the government battles to find ways to cope with a raging second wave of covid-19 that has severely stretched India’s healtchare infrastructure.
The government would seek to deploy on pandemic duty medical interns and MBBS doctors who are planning to pursue higher education. It also decided to give preference in government jobs to healthcare workers who offer at least 100 days to treating covid-19 afflicted people.
The government also deferred the National Eligibility-Cum-Entrance Test (postgraduate) till 31 August, and allowed central and state authorities to deploy the candidates on covid-19 duty.
“The individuals providing services in covid management will be given priority in forthcoming regular government recruitments after they complete a minimum of 100 days of covid duty," according to the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO).
“It was also decided to allow deployment of medical interns in covid management duties under the supervision of their faculty, as part of the internship rotation. The services of final-year MBBS students can be utilized for providing services like tele-consultation and monitoring of mild covid cases after due orientation by and under supervision of faculty," the PMO said.
The PMO said the decisions were arrived at after a review meeting by the PM, and hoped that this would “reduce the workload on existing doctors engaged in covid duty".
Similarly, final-year postgraduate (PG) students in medical colleges will be tapped for covid-19 duty while graduate nurses will be used in full-time covid nursing duties under the supervision of senior doctors and nurses.
The move to defer the NEET (PG) exams to until August-end is expected to make available a large number of qualified doctors for covid duties.
More than 160,000 MBBS doctors appeared last year in the exam seeking admission to MD (Doctor of Medicine), MS (Master’s in Surgery) and PG Diploma courses across the country.
“The state and Union territory governments are to make all efforts to reach out to each such prospective NEET (PG) candidate and request them to join the covid-19 workforce in this hour of need. The services of these MBBS doctors can be utilized in the management of covid–19. The state/Union territory governments may now also deploy medical interns in covid management duties under the supervision of their faculty, as part of the internship rotation," the PMO said.
All medical students and professionals who will start covid-related work will be suitably vaccinated and they would be covered under the government’s insurance scheme for healthcare workers battling the pandemic.
All such professionals who offer at least 100 days of covid duty will also be given the “Prime Minister’s Distinguished Covid National Service Samman", according to the PMO.
The government said vacant posts of doctors, nurses, allied professionals and other healthcare staff in health and medical departments should be filled through accelerated processes within 45 days through contractual appointments, based on National Health Mission (NHM) rules.
Besides, flexibility will be available with states to decide on remuneration as in NHM norms and a suitable honorarium for distinguished covid service may also be considered.
States can also make available additional healthcare professionals to private covid hospitals as well in areas that are seeing a surge in coronavirus cases.
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