Kerala

Resident doctors seek exemption from COVID duty

The Kerala Medical Post Graduate Association (KMPGA) has urged the Director of Medical Education (DME) to appoint more doctors on contract basis for COVID-19 duty in government medical college hospitals that are seeing a rise in number of new patients in the wake of the third wave of the pandemic.

In a letter, KMPGA functionaries urged the DME to spare junior and senior resident doctors from COVID-19 duty. They pointed out that most of the government hospitals in the periphery were not admitting infected persons. As a result, a bulk of the patients are being referred to and admitted in medical college hospitals. If this condition continues, there will be a dire need for more health workers in COVID-19 wards and intensive care units.

The KMPGA functionaries sought decentralisation of COVID-19 care from government medical college hospitals, which are also academic training institutes. New doctors, non-academic junior and senior resident doctors, and intensivist medical officers should be appointed to cover COVID-19 duties instead of depending only on academic resident doctors, they added.

‘Cannot spare time’

They claimed that junior resident doctors were in the forefront of the pandemic management along with professors and other healthcare staff during the first two waves. Then, not much was known about the infection, the administration did not have time to arrange alternative facilities. There was a time when a third of the academic days in a month had to be devoted for COVID-19 duty. This affected the training of junior resident doctors. “Our academic schedule is already fixed by the university [Kerala University of Health Sciences] and taking even more COVID-19 duties again would lead to loss of academic days and training. We are at a stage where we cannot afford to compromise anymore time,” the KMPGA leaders said.

They claimed that the resident doctors were concerned about the preparation for exams, submission of thesis, and completion of other academic work that are needed to become specialist doctors.


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Printable version | May 23, 2022 6:30:47 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/resident-doctors-seek-exemption-from-covid-duty/article38297754.ece