Hospitals and medical teaching institutes in the city which had been converted into Covid-only facilities have requested the Delhi government to restart non-Covid services. In a meeting with the Health Secretary recently, heads of institutes raised the issue of starting teaching for medical students, including the training that includes working in hospitals.
Under the Delhi government, tertiary care hospitals such as Lok Nayak and Guru Tegh Bahadur as well as other facilities such as Deen Dayal Upadhyay, Deep Chand Bandhu, Burari hospital, Satyawadi Harishchandra, Ambedkar Nagar and Dr Baba Saheb Ambedkar hospital have been dedicated for treatment of Covid patients.
Prof Nandini Sharma, dean of the Maulana Azad Medical College which is associated with Lok Nayak, GB Pant and Guru Nanak Eye Centre, told The Indian Express “The National Medical Council is the regulator of our education and they have told us to start undergraduate teaching. Professional exams have also been declared and our teaching cannot go on without the hospital. Unless we have a non-Covid section, we cannot move ahead. We have requested that in case they are not able to do so, other Delhi government hospitals should be used for teaching. If given permission, we can train our students somewhere else.”
With a drop in the daily number of Covid cases, the vacancy rate of the hospitals has dipped of late — around 70% of the total beds earmarked for Covid patients in Delhi are lying vacant. At Lok Nayak, the biggest Covid-only facility, 1,670 of the 2,000 beds are available. At GTB, 1,257 of 1,500 beds are vacant.
In October, the RDA of MAMC and associated hospitals had written a letter to the dean of the medical college raising concerns over disruption in clinical activities with the hospital converted into a Covid-only facility. In the letter, a copy of which was also marked to Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, the association highlighted how the medical students have not been able to complete their training for clinical activities, which is hampering their academic skills.
Dr B L Sherwal, medical director of Rajiv Gandhi Super Speciality hospital, said “Since the number of cases is going down, we have requested and the government is also considering to start services for non-Covid patients. All hospitals have requested to start clinical work for other patients as well and we are hopeful that a decision will be taken soon.” The hospital has 650 beds out of which 579 are vacant.
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