To motivate students to join Covid duty, govt postpones NEET-PG

New Delhi: In a move aimed at augmenting human resources deployed in fighting COVID-19, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday approved postponing the NEET-PG for at least four months to make a large number of qualified doctors available for pandemic duty and pressing into service medical interns.

All such professionals who complete 100 days of duty will be given priority in the forthcoming regular government recruitment and also honoured with the Prime Minister's Distinguished COVID National Service Samman, the PMO said in a statement. It said that the services of final year MBBS students can also be utilised for providing services like teleconsultation and monitoring of mild COVID cases after due orientation under the faculty's supervision.

"Medical interns will work under the supervision of their faculty. This will reduce the workload on the existing doctors engaged in COVID duty and boost the efforts of triaging," it said, adding that B.Sc. or GNM qualified nurses may be utilised in full-time COVID nursing duties under the supervision of senior doctors and nurses.

Those providing services in COVID management will be given priority in forthcoming regular government recruitments after they complete a minimum of 100 days of duty, the PMO said, adding that the medical students and professionals to be engaged in COVID-related work will be suitably vaccinated.

States and UTs have been urged to consider the incentives suggested to maximise manpower availability, the PMO said, adding that they can make available additional health professionals engaged through this process to private COVID hospitals as well in surge areas.

These professionals will also be covered under the government's insurance scheme for health workers engaged in fighting COVID-19. The statement said that the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test for Post-Graduation (NEET-PG) will be postponed for at least four months, and the exam will not be held before August 31.

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