Mumbai: Soon after the University of Health Sciences announced that it will be conducting medical final year examinations for various medical courses from July 15 onwards, the doctors association has written a letter requesting the university requesting cancellations as doctors are currently engaged in treating coronavirus patients.
Maharashtra state has been hit badly with an increasing number of coronavirus patients in the country. Furthermore, the relaxation of Unlock 1.0 is likely to lead to a large increase in the number of cases. The situation in the districts of Mumbai and Pune have particularly been worse in the State. A large number of cases are also being observed in rural areas, as frightened citizens are moving from cities to their native villages, leading to the rapid transmission of the virus.
This, however, has caused stress to the doctors, who are on their toes serving and curing citizens at various hospitals across the State. Keeping in mind the shortage of medical staff, the government is considering recruiting first as well as second-year medical students to treat COVID-19 patients.
Similarly, efforts are being taken to hire private doctors who can tend to the patients in such scenarios. Conducting examinations will only add to the insufficiency of the doctors. Based on this, KEM MARD has approached the university to request their grievances.
More than 2,000 doctors are likely to drop out of patient care if resident doctors have to take a final year exam in this situation. This will place an additional burden on the remaining 4,000 doctors. Currently, more than 200 doctors are COVID-19 positive. The process of appointing new doctors has not been completed. Therefore, if 2,000 doctors leave the service, the stress and burden will fall on to the health system.
KEM MARD has written a letter to the University of Health Sciences and the Board of Directors to understand their plight and current health priorities.
KEM Mard says, "Doctors should be given at least two months to prepare for the final year examination. Apart from the medical student-centric point, now our priorities should be tending to the patient's interests. The letters requests seeking cancellation of the final year examinations. Apart from the Health University, it has been sent to divisional commissioner Dr Deepak Mhaisekar, Vice-Chancellor, University of Health Sciences, Maharashtra state governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari and Minister Amit Deshmukh."
Dr Deepak Munde of KEM MARD said, "Considering the alarming spread of the contagion, it will be difficult to conduct the examination. As the medical students from the first and second year also actively contributing during this pandemic. Considering the current situation and rise of cases, it does not seem the situation will be under control anytime in the next few coming months. There are also predictions of the outbreak lasting until December and beyond. So conducting examinations will be completely incorrect in the current situation. We plan to further communicate to the Medical Council of India through the State Government regarding cancellation of the examination. If this is not possible, these students should be immediately released from the examination basis of their internal assessment and the progress report sent every six months."
In the meantime, Dr Rahul Wagh president of Central MARD said, "We need at least 45 days to prepare for the examination. The response has been positive from the Directorate of Administration and Medical Education and the Research as well as from the Maharashtra state University of Health Sciences."