Published: 01st April 2020
TN medical students asked to stay on demand salary, certificates, postponement of MRB exam to work in COVID-19 wards
The Association also pointed out that the extension would cause several delays with regard to their certification and preparations for exams and other career plans
After the Directorate of Medical Education, Tamil Nadu issued a circular directing this year's batch of interns to extend their services by another month, the Tamil Nadu Medical Students Association (TNMSA) responded with a set of demands. While accepting their responsibility of rendering their service at this crucial time, the Association also pointed out that the extension would cause several delays with regard to their certification and preparations for exams and other career plans.
Dr B Arunanidhi, the general secretary of TNMSA wrote to the Tamil Nadu Health Minister stating that the 2014 batch interns, who had completed their Compulsory Rotary Residential Internships (CRRI) were ready to lend a helping hand to combat COVID-19. "We can understand the responsibility of a citizen and the need of our service at this high time in order to approximate the tremendous need of manpower during this deadly crisis," they said.
However, Arunandhi pointed out that there would be many risks that the interns would be undertaking both during their service and also with their careers. "This would cause delays in the State Medical Council registration and issue of University Degree Certificate, lag in seniority, lack of time for our PG preparations and hindrance to our future plans," he pointed out. Which was why the students were putting forth a set of demands so as to be able to work with a "peaceful mind amidst this chaotic working atmosphere".
"We want the government to ensure that the doctors rendering service will be one of the beneficiaries of the incentives as announced by the government for all healthcare workers tending to COVID-19 patients through the extended period of their service," the student association said.
The students have submitted seven demand to the Health Minister. Their first demand is a reiteration of one the students have already made in the past and also one that doctors across the country making - provision of sufficient protective gear, PPEs, N95 masks and hand sanitisers.
Pertaining to the delays in the CRRI completion, the general secretary said, "We request our College and hospital administration to issue us the CRRI Completion Certificate at the end of our original posting period of CRRI (March 2020) without any delay, provided the candidate has no negative remarks during their internship and proceed further to register in the State Medical Council and to issue University Degree Certificate officially as any delay in it will affect our seniority upon registering in Tamil Nadu State Medical Council and make us lag behind our private medical college counterparts as they have already completed their CRRI."
The students also want the college administration to recognise their contribution during this crisis 'as a token of appreciation for their service'. The Association also requested the government to sanction their salary, "We want the government to ensure that the doctors rendering service will be one of the beneficiaries of the incentives as announced by the government for all healthcare workers tending to COVID-19 patients through the extended period of their service."
The Association also wants the government to postpone the upcoming Medical Services Recruitment Board (MRB) exam for medical officers and also recommend that NEET PG be postponed to next year due to the pandemic and the possibility of it lasting for another few months. "We also request the government not to deduct any amount in the name of food and accommodation all through the extended period of one month. We also request that the interns be the reserve medical team for indulging in the pandemic crisis management," the general secretary said.