NEW DELHI: To tackle the constant surge of coronavirus cases and increasing load of patient care on the hospitals and healthcare workers, the Delhi government has allowed all COVID facilities in the city to engage the MBBS students who are in fourth and fifth years, interns and others to assist doctors on duty at a fixed honorarium.
An order dated November 18, issued by the health department stated, "Engage fourth and fifth year MBBS students, interns and BDS doctors to assist duty doctors at an honorarium of Rs 1,000 (8 hours shift) and Rs 2,000 (12 hours shift) per day."
With sudden rise in admission of patients in the city-based hospitals, these facilities are once again facing a similar issue which was a concern in the initial months - shortage of healthcare workers. However, the order has raised concern over the efficiency in tackling critical cases of COVID-19 as we all work for 12 hours at a stretch wearing PPE kit.
"There had been no special drive to recruit trained health care professionals. Doctors in training are being exploited and are being deployed. We have been suggesting to recruit trained professionals to create a pool in order to battle the pandemic. The state government seems to be hell bent on forcing young medical students with limited skills to be on war front," said a senior doctor from a government-run hospital.
However, this move seem to have not gone very well with the resident doctors. "That is not acceptable and will not be tolerated. There is no dearth of doctors in Delhi. The young medical students are not trained to be at war front. Rather they should be protected since they are yet to acquire needed skills. So, better than forcing medical students to serve in COVID-19 ward, adequate workforce be trained to do so," noted another resident doctor.