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Centre deploys final-year MBBS students as Covid warriors

This development comes after cardiac surgeon Dr Devi Shetty had called for trained doctors and nurses, who are either awaiting their final examination or to crack a national-level entrance test, to be engaged in Covid duty.

Covid-19The move is expected to reduce the workload on doctors and nurses engaged in Covid duty. (File photo)

The Centre on Monday said that final-year MBBS students as well as BSc and GNM-qualified nurses can be deployed for Covid duties. It added that the medical personnel completing 100 days of Covid duties will be given priority in forthcoming regular government recruitments.

The move is expected to reduce the workload on the existing doctors and nurses who are treating Covid patients now.

In a statement, the PMO said final-year MBBS students can be utilised for providing services like teleconsultation and monitoring of mild Covid cases after due orientation under the faculty’s supervision. Medical interns will also be pressed into work under the supervision of their faculty.

BSc and GNM-qualified nurses would be utilised in full-time Covid nursing duties under the supervision of senior doctors and nurses.

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The govt said that all such professionals who sign up for minimum 100 days of duty and complete it successfully will also be given the Prime Minister’s Distinguished COVID National Service Samman. They will also be covered under the government’s insurance scheme for health workers engaged in fighting Covid-19.

These developments come after cardiac surgeon Dr Devi Shetty had called for trained doctors and nurses, who are either awaiting their final examination or to crack a national-level entrance test, to be engaged in Covid duty.

Around 25,000 doctors, who have finished their postgraduate training but they have not appeared for the exam yet, can be told that they can skip the exam and get their degrees provided they work in Covid ICUs for one year, Dr Shetty had said earlier while speaking at a virtual conference on interdisciplinary approaches to healthcare hosted by Symbiosis International (Deemed University).

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Moreover, a similar option should be given to the 90,000-1 lakh doctors who have graduated from overseas universities but have not cleared a national entrance exam, he had further said, adding that rendering services in the ICUs for a year should make them eligible to get registration certificates.

Dr Shetty had also said 2.20 lakh nurses, who have finished their training for three-year GNM or four-year BSc courses in various nursing schools and colleges across the country but are yet to take their final exams, should be given the option to work in Covid ICUs for a year, following which they can get their degree certificates.

The cardiac surgeon had also pointed out since doctors are mentally fatigued, suffering burnouts and many among them are getting infected, there is a need to bring in more physicians soon to reduce the burden.

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Unless that happens, the next big crisis would be the lack of doctors and nurses to treat Covid patients in hospitals, Dr Shetty had warned.

First published on: 03-05-2021 at 17:14 IST
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