CHENNAI: The Madras High Court has ordered awarding of incentive marks to PG medical students, who have rendered Covid-19 duty in government hospitals, in the appointment of assistant surgeons, while rejecting the plea of private doctors seeking similar incentives.
While upholding G.O. Ms 278, which provides incentive marks to doctors who were on Covid duty in government hospitals, the bench said that PG student doctors were also eligible for incentive marks. The government had initiated the process for recruiting 1,021 assistant surgeons in government healthcare institutions last year.
The first bench of Chief Justice SV Gangapurwala and Justice D Bharatha Chakravarthy passed the orders on Thursday on a batch of petitions filed by PG medicos and private doctors. Even though the services of PG medicos during Covid pandemic is considered part of their 36 month training period, they were also roped in for Covid duty, the bench noted. “It is not in dispute that they put in the same kind of duty and underwent the same rigors as that of the other medical officers recruited by the state government,” it observed.
The bench noted that the number of patients treated by the PG medicos and the amount of duty they rendered is no less when compared to the temporary medical officers recruited for Covid duty.
The bench concurred with the contention of advocate Suhrith Parthasarathy that the duties rendered by the PG medicos have been held equivalent to regular medical officers in an earlier ruling of the high court.
Ordering award of incentive marks to not only the petitioners, but also all PG medicos who have rendered the service, the bench directed the authorities to provide them Covid duty certificate within 15 days.
Agreeing with the contention of the government that 84% of the patients were treated in government hospitals and there is no verifiable mechanism to check the claim of private doctors of having done Covid duty, the bench said, “the state is very well justified in making the classification of medical officers on duty in government hospitals.”