Gujarat HC reserves order on Mandatory COVID duty of final year MBBS students
Gujarat: Considering the petition of at least 146 final year MBBS students of NHL Municipal Medical College and AMC MET Medical College challenging the authority's order of mandatory COVID duty for final year students, the Gujarat High court has reserved the order on Wednesday.
The medicos while voicing against the government's diktat for them to join Covid-19 duty as 'Corona Sahayaks', had contended that such "voluntarism" cannot be thrust upon them.
The notification triggered both the parents and the students. While the parents' association comprising of around 600 medical students of the two colleges questioned why these two colleges are particularly forcing COVID-19 duties on the MBBS students out of a total of 22 medical colleges in the state. They severely criticized this decision by the authorities while stating that if the medicos agree to contribute in the COVID-19 duty just before 4 to 5 months of their final exams it will be harmful to their career. They also argued that the medicos are not competent enough to handle this kind of duty as they have not completed their internship under the guidance of an expert yet.
However, the petitioners are unwilling to serve in COVID facilities considering that their final year examinations have already been scheduled and they need to utilize their maximum time for preparation.
They contended that "five precious months of final year MBBS students have been wasted due to lockdown. We cannot go to college for theoretical knowledge or go to the hospital for clinical knowledge."
Moreover, the prelims exam is scheduled for October and November 2020 and the main examinations are most likely to be held in December and January. It only grants them two months for preparation before the prelims start.
The petitioners argued that " the prelims are two months away and the final University exams are four months away. At such a crucial juncture, petitioners are in serious crisis and facing competing priorities of answering call to be corona sahayak for an indefinite period and prepare for the prelims and final MBBS exam. The need of the hour is to strike a balance between the competing interests and allows students to study for the remaining four months"
As per a recent media report in Ahmedabad Mirror, AMC, in its response submitted to the High court that the medicos are given the duties at COVID-19 facilities mandatorily so that it can enhance their medical experiences
The Gujarat Medicos Parents Association, which represents parents of more than 600 final year medical students studying in the two colleges, told TIE that "Authorities of the two colleges first threatened the students, and are now invoking moral and ethical duty… We want to know why only two out of 22 medical colleges in the state are discriminating against their own students by making Covid-19 duty mandatory for them when other colleges are being considerate."