Medical interns and final-year MBBS students will be deployed on COVID duty, in lieu of the unprecedented surge in cases in India, a press release from the government stated on Monday, 3 May.
The final-year students will be engaged in tele-consultation and monitoring of mild COVID cases and BSc/GNM-qualified nurses will be deployed on full-time COVID duty.
PM Narendra Modi held a series of meetings over the past week and several important decisions were taken on Monday to boost the availability of medical personnel on COVID duty.
NEET-PG Exam Not Before 31 Aug
Meanwhile, the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (postgraduate) exam has been postponed for at least four months and the exam will not be held before 31 August 2021, the press release further read. Students will be intimated at least one month before the exam is conducted.
The move is expected to ensure that a large number of qualified doctors is available for COVID duty and also reduce the load on the existing healthcare system.
State governments have been urged to reach out to prospective NEET candidates and request them to join the COVID-19 workforce in this hour of need.
Medical personnel who have completed 100 days of COVID duty will be given the Prime Minister’s Distinguished COVID National Service Samman from the Government of India and will be prioritised in the forthcoming government recruitments.
All such health professionals will be vaccinated on priority and will be covered by the government’s insurance scheme.
Through the National Health Mission, an additional 2,206 specialists, 4,685 medical officers and 25,593 nurses have been recruited in the past one year.
The Centre has ordered the states and Union Territories to expedite the process of filling up posts of doctors, nurses and allied professionals within 45 days via contractual appointments, based on National Health Mission norms.
Amid an exponential rise in COVID cases, the Supreme Court urged the Centre and states “to consider imposing a lockdown to break the chain of infection in the interest of public welfare”. It also directed the central government to revisit its initiatives and protocols, including the availability of oxygen, availability and pricing of vaccines, and availability of essential drugs at affordable prices