Final-year resident doctors have responded positively to the recommendation of the Prime Minister that their service be extended to ensure adequate manpower to tackle the unprecedented crisis being thrown up by the pandemic, but they requested that some of their concerns be heard.
The Prime Minister has recommended that the services of final-year residents (DNB, MD, MS, DM, MCh, MDS and Diploma) courses be extended. “We stand firmly in our resolve to fight the pandemic despite having lost several of our batchmates and family members,” a representative of the students said.
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Forced tenure extension
One of their concerns is that PG and super specialty courses are for a fixed tenure and extensions are normally handed over as punishment for poor performance or for attendance shortage. “Currently, the forced extension of the tenure, if not compensated with our requests, would be akin to ‘imposed failure’, which is demoralising.”
But, in the interest of the greater good of society, they agreed to stand in for Covid duty till the next batches of residents join, in the hope that some of their requests will be granted.
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PG students (MD/MS/DNB/Diploma) should be promoted as senior residents and post-doctoral students (MCh/DM/DNB) to the next level as soon as the scheduled tenure completion of three or two years (whichever applicable) along with pay scale and other allowances (whichever applicable), they urged.
Waiver of examination
Preparation for final examinations requires undivided attention of the students which could hinder their services towards Covid care, and vice versa. Hence, a request for waiver of examinations may be granted, given that even otherwise failure rates at the PG level is less than 5-10 per cent.
The Covid-19 duty period may be counted against the Mandatory Service Bond period of different State governments and authorities (wherever applicable). It should also be counted in double as most of the resident doctors are doing double duty (100 hours a week) compared to 48 hours a week as prescribed in Residency scheme of Government of India, they said.