COVID Duty for MBBS Students: Over 140 MBBS students move HC to quash GMC circular
Ahmedabad: The State Government's move to rope in MBBS students in COVID-19 duty seems to have backfired, as around 146 medical students have now moved the Gujarat High Court seeking to quash the circulars.Challenging the circular issued by the colleges on July 17, July 22, and July 24, asking them to assist in the fight against Covid-19 and the threat that their academic sessions would not...
Ahmedabad: The State Government's move to rope in MBBS students in COVID-19 duty seems to have backfired, as around 146 medical students have now moved the Gujarat High Court seeking to quash the circulars.
Challenging the circular issued by the colleges on July 17, July 22, and July 24, asking them to assist in the fight against Covid-19 and the threat that their academic sessions would not be granted if they failed to report for this 'voluntary' service, the third-year MBBS students of NHL Municipal Medical College and LG Medical College have now approached the court.
The medicos, in their plea, cited the example of GMC surat which made appeals to MBBS students to jin COVID fight by luring them with several perks.
The medicos while voicing against the government's diktat for them to join Covid-19 duty as 'Corona Sahayaks', contended that such "voluntarism" cannot be thrust upon them.
In clarification of their contention they further submitted, "Had they been called for voluntary service earlier, they would have gladly joined, but now they have to focus on their studies and examinations," adding that four months of their academic sessions have been wasted.
"Had the petitioners been called a few months earlier they would have been wedded to the call of the nation," their petition reads.
Meanwhile, pointing out at the threat that their academic sessions would not be granted, which would render them disqualified for final-year studies if they failed to report for this 'voluntary' service, the medicos took a strong exception to the threat of action against them under the Epidemic Disease Act and the Disaster Management Act.
In their petition, the students submitted that the government can summon anybody for duty under these laws, but they should be spared at this juncture. The work they are required for could be given to health workers, compounders or nurses, who are now available in abundance due to the prevailing unemployment.
The medicos also presented the example of GMC, Surat that enticed them to join the COVID-19 battle. As per a recent media report in TOI, in Ahmedabad, some students joined the training modules under duress and threat. They reiterated that "any voluntary service cannot be compulsory".
Subsequently, the petitioners requested to quash the circulars and show-cause notices issued by AMC colleges.
To substantiate their demand, they argued that pursuing studies is their fundamental right. They further submitted that there are 22 medical colleges in the state and nearly 3,000 students are in Part I and Part II of the third year. Of all these colleges, only AMC-run colleges have taken such a decision that risks the lives of students in the time of a pandemic.
Medical Dialogues team had earlier reported about the appeal by the Dean of the Government Medical College (GMC) Surat via a circular dated July 24. As per the circular, the medical college had offered to give 50 % Grace Internal marks; Certificate of appreciation; Accommodation; Transportation to, and from the place of accommodation, if needed; Meals & refreshments; and Honorarium of Rs. 10,000- per month to students who would voluntarily participate in the duty.