Teachers in government medical colleges have asked striking students to call of their stir or face severe consequences.
The students, who are on a year-long compulsory residential internship as part of their course work, have been demanding proper delineation of their duties for the past fortnight.
K. Senthil, president of Tamil Nadu Government Doctors Association that represents teachers in State-run medical colleges, said on Friday that it did not support the strike. “If the students continue with their strike, their training period will be extended and they will not be issued completion certificates,” he said.
The striking students said they were being overworked and made to do all kinds of routine work that was not part of their duties. They demanded that they be relieved from administering injections and IV fluids and writing indents for medicines.
The students also complained that they were asked to transport blood samples and blood bags, a job that should be done by paramedical staff. They also wanted a shift system instead of being made to work 36 hours non-stop.
As the protest gathered momentum, health secretary J. Radhakrishnan issued an order to relieve the students of routine tasks so they could learn to treat patients.
However, Dr. Senthil said, “Administering injections and drawing blood samples is part of the training process. The students need not transport the samples to and from labs but must remain by the patient’s bedside and go around the ward with PG students or assistant professors. The Medical Council of India is the only body that can change the training curriculum.”
Dr. Senthil said it was incorrect to make PG doctors administer injections and IV fluids as they were already trained in these procedures.
He added, “We request the government to make provisions such as restrooms and drinking water facilities in the wards for trainee students who must remain there at all times. It is true that these facilities are lacking in many institutions and this should be set right immediately.”