Jammu and Kashmir to hire retired doctors, deploy MBBS students for Covid care


an old stone building: Final year MBBS students in Jammu and Kashmir are to be deployed for telephonic consultations and monitoring of mild Covid-19 cases. (HT Photo/Waseem Andrabi)

© Provided by Hindustan Times Final year MBBS students in Jammu and Kashmir are to be deployed for telephonic consultations and monitoring of mild Covid-19 cases. (HT Photo/Waseem Andrabi)

Jammu and Kashmir government has decided to re-employ retired doctors and deploy final year MBBS students to deal with the shortage of medical staff amid the surging Covid-19 cases following lieutenant governor Manoj Sinha’s advice to the same effect. Earlier this month, the administration extended services of existing medical staff at some government facilities till the end of the year to mitigate the manpower crisis.

“Hire interns and final year medical students to increase the manpower in the health sector,” Sinha told the principals of government medical colleges and the chief medical officers in the union territory last week.

On Sunday, the government called upon the health institutions across the UT to utilise the services of final year MBBS students for services like telephonic consultations and monitoring of mild Covid-19 cases after due orientation under the supervision of faculty members.

Mission director National Health Mission, Choudhary Mohammad Yasin, wrote to the principals of government medical colleges of Jammu and Srinagar besides Sher-I-Kashmir Medical College and Hospital Bemina, asking them to pay a monthly stipend of 5,000 to all such final year MBBS students, under Covid-19 Emergency Response Package (ECRP) 2021-22.

“The stipend will be [paid] to those who work for at least 100 days for Covid care in accordance with the notification issued by Union Ministry for Health and Family Welfare,” he said. The Central government has announced several incentives including preference in government jobs for medical students who opt for Covid duty for at least 100 days.

As many as 5,190 fresh infections and 54 Covid-19 deaths were reported in Jammu and Kashmir on Sunday, taking the overall death toll to 2,726 and the total cases to over 216,000. 444 people have died this month alone in the UT.

President of J&K’s employees’ joint action committee (EJAC), Rafique Rather hailed the step as the one that “will prove helpful to a great extent in containing Covid-19”.

A doctor said that doctors who had left government service were also ready to help if given an opportunity. “Many such doctors have volunteered to join back at this time of crisis. It will be better than only taking retired doctors back in service,” he said on condition of anonymity.

On May 03, the Jammu and Kashmir administration had announced the decision to extend the tenure of retiring doctors till the end of the year and also provide monetary incentives to all the healthcare workers directly dealing with Coronavirus patients.

The incentive, to be paid for a period of three months initially, will be 10,000 per month for resident doctors, PGs and medical officers; 7,000 per month for nursing and paramedical staff, and 5,000 per month for drivers, sweepers and attendants.

LG Sinha also granted extension up to 31st December, 2021 to faculty members, consultants, doctors working in SKIMs at Soura and Bemina and government medical colleges and health departments who were going to retire between May, 2021 and November, 2021.

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