India to Deploy Medical Interns for Covid Management Duties

Prime Minister (PM) of India Narendra Modi taking Covid-19 vaccine at Delhi’s All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) on March 1, 2021. Photo: Narendra Modi / Twitter
Prime Minister (PM) of India Narendra Modi taking Covid-19 vaccine at Delhi’s All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) on March 1, 2021. Photo: Narendra Modi / Twitter

It was decided to allow deployment of medical interns in Covid management duties under the supervision of their faculty.

The Prime Minister (PM) of India Narendra Modi has reviewed the growing need of adequate human resources for responding to the Covid-19 pandemic in the country. According to a government statement released on May 3, many important decisions were taken which will significantly boost the availability of medical personnel in Covid duty.

India is facing a dearth of trained medical professionals to provide healthcare to Covid patients in hospitals and to handle the vaccination work, which has gained momentum in May. 

It was decided to allow deployment of medical interns in Covid management duties under the supervision of their faculty, as part of the internship rotation program. The services of Final-Year MBBS students can be utilized for providing services like tele-consultation and monitoring of mild Covid cases after due orientation by and under the supervision of faculty. This step is expected to reduce the workload on existing doctors engaged in Covid duty.

According to the statement, the services of Final-Year PG students (broad as well as super-specialities) as residents may continue to be utilized until fresh batches of PG students have joined. Also, qualified nurses may be utilized in full-time Covid nursing duties under the supervision of senior doctors and nurses.

The individuals providing Covid management services will be given priority in forthcoming regular government recruitments after they complete a minimum of 100 days of Covid duty.

The medical students / professionals sought to be engaged in Covid related work will be suitably vaccinated. All health professionals thus engaged will be covered under the insurance scheme of the government for health workers engaged in fighting Covid-19.

All such professionals who sign up for minimum 100 days of Covid duty and complete it successfully will also be given the Prime Minister’s Distinguished Covid National Service Samman from the Government of India.

The Central Government had issued guidelines on 16th June, 2020 to facilitate the engagement of doctors and nurses for Covid duties. A special Rs. 15,000 crore Public Health Emergency Support was provided by the Central Government to ramp up facilities and human resources for Covid management. 

Engaging personnel through the National Health Mission, an additional 2,206 specialists, 4,685 medical officers, and 25,593 staff nurses were recruited through this process.

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Rakesh Raman