The Supreme Court (SC) on Thursday pointed out the exhaustion faced by the doctors and nurses on COVID-19 duty and serving as frontline workers. Justice Chandrachud highlighted the existing and anticipated shortage of doctors, nurses and other allied healthcare professionals in such dire times.
He said that the existing professionals have been on the front foot since March 2020 while opining that it is only logical to anticipate a greater demand for healthcare workers, including doctors and nurses.
The SC suggested that NEET-PG aspirants who are waiting to appear in the exam can be engaged in COVID-19 duty.
According to official estimates, there are about 1.5 lakh doctors who have completed the medical course and their internship, waiting to appear in the NEET.
Apart from medical students, there are around 2.5 lakh nurses who are fully trained, who, the top court suggested, can be involved in the COVID-19 workforce.
However, the court also pointed out that if these frontline workers are provided with ₹15,000-20,000, not many people will come forward. Earlier, the government had announced to pay a stipend of ₹ 3000 to final year medical students, interns and contractual doctors on COVID-19 duty.
The Solicitor General Tushar Mehta added that there could also be an incentive by way of grace marks in the NEET-PG exam, reported The Indian Express.
The NEET-PG was postponed to address the availability of medical personnel due to the pandemic. The PMO had announced that medical personnel who complete 100 days of COVID-19 duties will be given priority in the forthcoming regular government recruitments.
Medical interns will also be deployed in COVID-19 management duties under the supervision of their faculty.
In Mumbai, resident doctors from four hospitals who have been at the frontline of COVID-19 duty since March last year launched a social media campaign on Friday, reported The Times Of India.
Around 3,000 resident doctors from KEM, Sion, Nair and Cooper hospitals are against the administration's decision to adjust their stipend arrears against the money given for Covid duty.