'All final yr PG medical students to be deployed on ICU duty for 6 mths'

New Delhi: With an all-hands-on-deck situation here in the Capital with respect to COVID-19, the Delhi government has now decided that all final year postgraduate medical students in the city along with undergraduate and postgraduate final year Nursing students will be "immediately deployed" in COVID Hospitals run by the state to facilitate the dire need for additional healthcare workers in Intensive Care Units (ICUs) here. As per the order, the government has instructed that all these students would be at the Delhi government's disposal for a period of six months and that they must be recruited in the next four days.

The decision comes after a major meeting was undertaken under the chairmanship of Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia, who has now taken charge of the Health Department.

The meeting on Friday was held to review the COVID-19 situation in the Capital, specifically to check how ICU infrastructure in Delhi can be speedily ramped up in light of the increasing number of cases being detected every day. While it was decided that increasing ICU infrastructure in the city had become the need of the hour, it was also agreed upon that another major challenge would be to equally ramp up ICU manpower to man

these beds and tend to the patients who will soon be occupying them.

The note issued from the Delhi Secretariat said that all Medical Directors had flagged this as a major problem.

At the meeting, Dr Sarin of the Institute of Liver and Biliary Sciences suggested that all final year MD/MS/DNB graduate Doctors in various PG Medical Institutions be engaged for a period of six months in Delhi government-run COVID Hospitals and that similarly final year Undergraduate and Postgraduate Nursing students also be deployed at Delhi government facilities on CU duty.

The Deputy Chief Minister noted that most PG Medical Institutions in Delhi are affiliated to the Guru Gobind Singh Indraprastha University and appointed Vice-Chancellor Mahesh Verma to recruit and deploy the required number of final year MD/MS/DNB and Nursing grads for a period of six months at COVID-19 hospitals here. Sisodia's office also authorised Verma to recommend the necessary honorarium or stipend that must be provided to these students, who will be working under the Delhi government under these circumstances.

The Delhi government has ordered that Verma "shall complete this task within four days in coordination with Principal Secretary (Health)".

It was agreed at the meeting to immediately rationalise the doctors, Anesthetics, and Staff Nurses of various Delhi government hospitals on "an urgent basis" for optimal utilisation of their services in Delhi government COVID-19 hospitals here.

In addition, Sisodia also directed all dedicated COVID-19 hospitals in the city to increase their ICU bed capacity and other infrastructure as soon as possible.

Millennium Post had on June 19 reported that in light of the additional beds being built here and the rising number of cases, Delhi would

require at least 5,000 additional health care workers by the end of this month. Government

officials at the time had

said that all avenues are being explored.

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