Gujarat Govt mandates Covid-19 duty for all MBBS, paramedical students
Surat: The Gujarat Government has recently made Covid-19 duty mandatory for all MBBS and para-medical students including nursing, dental, physiotherapy, and AYUSH in wake of the rising number of coronavirus cases in the state.
The decision has been taken in discussion with the State's Core committee chaired by Chief Minister Vijay Rupani and Deputy Chief Minister Nitin Patel.
Following a thorough consultation with the senior officials of the Health Department as well as the Faculty Deans of all the Universities in the state, the Core Committee has decided to make the Covid-19 duty compulsory for all MBBS students whose theory examinations have been finished but practical examinations are still pending.
Such medical students have been notified to report immediately for the Covid-19 duties.
As per the latest media reports by the Indian Express, for now, the practical examinations of the medical students have been postponed. However, the theory exams would be conducted as scheduled.
The daily further adds that the Principal Secretary of Health, Jayanti Ravi has further asked all the final year medical students whose practical examinations are on, to join Covid-19 duty from the next day after finishing the examinations.
The Health Secretary has further informed that all the third-year students of nursing, dental, physiotherapy, and AYUSH would need to join the same duty. Moreover, if the situation demands, the junior doctors would have to rope in as well.
However, such a move to push all the medical students to join Covid-19 duty is not new on the part of the Gujarat Government. Medical Dialogues team had last year reported that amid the rising number of COVID-19 corresponding to the shortage of staff to handle the patients in hospitals, the state government had issued an order deploying all MBBS students of government-run medical colleges and those associated with Gujarat Medical Education Research (GMERS) for COVID duty. Besides, students from paramedical colleges had also been directed to tender their services. However, the notification hadn't included the first-year medicos.
Later, 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 had approached the court.
However, expressing anguish over the petition moved by MBBS students, the Gujarat High Court had denied to grant them relief and had called the matter unfortunate citing that there were medical students who did not want to render their services in those critical times. It assured the MBBS students and cited, "But more than duty, here is an opportunity of a lifetime to experience the beautify of healing on a scale and challenges which, in our opinion, happen to be historic."
Now, the numbers of new Covid-19 cases are rising again in the State, and the fact that Surat city alone has reported more than 300 cases in a day, has called the Government to resort to the same measure as last year's.