Panel: Rope in post-grads, pool hosp resources to deal with staff shortage

New Delhi: A Delhi government panel has recommended roping in postgraduate students, pooling of resources of hospitals and cash incentives to address the problem of shortage of staff in hospitals amid a surge in coronavirus cases, sources said on Wednesday.

The two-member committee, comprising Dr Mahesh Verma, vice-chancellor of the Guru Gobind Singh Indraprastha University and Dr BL Sherwal, director, Rajiv Gandhi Super Speciality Hospital (RGSSH), was formed last week.

The panel submitted its recommendations to the government and they were forwarded to the Cabinet, the sources said.

They said the panel has recommended "roping in young blood" since senior doctors might have co-morbid conditions. It suggested enlisting second and third year postgraduate students, interns, dental surgeons and AYUSH officers, and stated there can be a course for dental surgeons and AYUSH officers so that they can take care of non-critical patients or those with mild symptoms admitted in quarantine centres.

Apart from this, the panel has also recommended pooling of hospitals' resources. For instance, if a government hospital has more number of healthcare providers or specialists, they can be sent to work in other government hospitals that might be grappling with a shortage of staff.

Nearly 2,000 healthcare workers have been infected with coronavirus in the national capital which is also one of the reasons for their shortage. Experts have also said that even though the number of beds are being increased, there need to be healthcare providers to look after them.

The two-member panel has also recommended cash incentives and commendation certificates in addition to the facilities already being provided to healthcare workers like insurance, quarantine facilities and providing them 'recommendation' for their future endeavour.

It was felt that there should be some incentive otherwise they won't continue to work indefinitely. Critical area is the main focus where the presence of healthcare workers is needed the most and the staff working there should be provided incentives.

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