Bihar junior doctors seek denotification of medical colleges as Covid hospitals
Bihar’s junior doctors, who are postgraduate medical students, have pitched for de-notifying medical colleges in Patna, Gaya and Bhagalpur as dedicated coronavirus disease (Covid-19) hospitals because of lack of patients and allow admission to non-Covid-19 patients.
They have cited that the existing arrangement is hampering their curriculum and also expressed concern about academic loss.
It was impossible to achieve the goals and objectives of medical training in a hospital that allows only Covid-19 patients, the members of Junior Doctors Association (JDA), Bihar, highlighted in a letter to Pratyaya Amrit, principal secretary, health, Bihar, on Monday. It also quoted extensively the regulations of the Postgraduate Education, 2000, of the Medical Council of India (MCI).
“Designating medical colleges as exclusive Covid-19 care hospitals should be the last resort and not the first option. Non-teaching hospitals should be engaged first,” the letter stated.
Conversion of a medical college into a dedicated Covid-19 hospital also renders a huge infrastructure and large pool of doctors, including specialists and super-specialists, useless, it argued.
Dr Papu Kumar Safi and Dr Divyanshu Martand of Nalanda Medical College Hospital (NMCH) requested that admission of Covid-19 patients to medical colleges should be temporarily stopped and existing patients suffering from the viral infection be shifted to a ward with adequate oxygen beds.
Earlier, though NMCH’s JDA had raised the issue of academic loss on June 3 and 24, their plea had allegedly fallen on deaf ears of the authorities concerned.
The JDA, alternatively, suggested that the 110-bed Guru Govind Singh Hospital in Patna that has six intensive care unit (ICU) beds could be utilised as a dedicated Covid-19 hospital after equipping it with more ventillator-supported beds and operation theatre for emergency surgeries of patients suffering from the viral infection.
It also suggested developing a joint pool of doctors from NMCH, Patna Medical College Hospital (PMCH) and Guru Govind Singh Hospital for clinical management of Covid-19 patients.
“A medical college is bound to provide training as per curriculum prescribed by the MCI and failing to do so is a breach of contract by the institution. MD and MS (doctor of medicine and master of surgery, respectively) is a three-year course out of which we have lost six months. MBBS internship’s duration is one year. Half of it is gone and the students are suffering,” said Dr Martand, who is pursuing a postgraduate degree in medicine at NMCH.
“Doctors with incomplete training can cause a serious threat to the patients they treat. No law of the land gives anybody the right to do so. If these incompletely trained doctors cause any damage to a patient after they pass out, the authorities must be held responsible for hampering their training for all these months,” alleged Dr Safi, who is also pursuing a postgraduate degree in medicine at NMCH.
JDA members said the bed occupancy of Covid-19 patients at NMCH had never crossed 50 in the past month against a total capacity of 447 beds. Bed occupancy of the other dedicated Covid-19 hospitals, including the one made by Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) at ESI Bihta was also low.
The Patna-based All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) had 145 Covid-19 patients against 600 beds until Sunday. While the NMCH had 32 Covid-19 patients against 447 beds.
Bihar has less than 3,000 Covid-19 patients in institutional quarantine against a total bed capacity of 54,126 of which 36,011 beds were in “ready to move in” as per the government data accessed by HT.
There were less than 600 patients in dedicated Covid-19 hospitals against a total bed capacity of 4,024, said government officials.
The state government has designated AIIMS and NMCH --- both located in Patna --- Anugrah Naryan Magadh Medical College Hospital in Gaya and the Jawaharlal Nehru Medical College Hospital in Bhagalpur as dedicated Covid-19 hospitals.
The government has also created 100 isolation beds in each of the remaining six state-run medical colleges for Covid-19 patients.
Bihar has reported 1,47,658 Covid-19 cases, including 754 deaths, until Sunday.
At present, the state has 16,603 active cases and a recovery rate of 88.24%.