August 10, 2020 2:30:50 pm
With hospitals facing a serious shortage of healthcare workers, Naryana Health chairman Dr Devi Prasad Shetty made an appeal to authorities to exempt final year PG medical and nursing students from clearing exams and instead engage them in Covid care.
“We are desperately short of a million doctors and another two million nurses,” Dr Shetty said.
“Some universities in UK and Italy have exempted final year PG students and nurses and used alternative assessments to enrol them quickly in the health care system,” Dr Shetty said while responding to media queries after the launch of COVID health care professional (CHP), a unique not-for-profit joint initiative between ECHO-India and Naukri.com to meet the shortage of skilled workforce in India’s fight against COVID 19.
India, so far, has recorded more than 22 lakh cases and 44386 deaths. “We have withstood the COVID onslaught but will immediately need a fluid health care workforce of at least 50,000 doctors and one lakh nurses as the virus behaving predictably moves from one city to another,” Dr Shetty said.
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“If the Indian nursing council and Union health ministry decided to exempt the final year nursing students from the exams so that they manage COVID patients for a year and if nurses volunteer to do so then there will be a significant rise in numbers. There are approximately 25,000 doctors who have finished PG in medicine, pulmonology and a sizable workforce will be generated immediately if they are also exempted from exams on the condition that they work for one year in the government/private sector,” Dr Shetty added.
“It has always been a puzzle when 26 million babies are born every year in the country and there is a huge requirement of health workforce—why are there only 50,000 medical seats for which ten lakh aspirants apply,” he said.
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