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After R N Cooper, KEM, Nair hospitals ask UG students to join Covid fight

By Shreya Bhandary, Mumbai
PUBLISHED ON MAY 30, 2020 11:30 PM IST

A day after Andheri’s RN Cooper Hospital (HBT Medical College) issued a circular requesting its third- and fourth-year Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS) batches to return to campus and help the hospital with Covid-19 work, MBBS students of KEM Hospital (Seth GS Medical College) and BYL Nair Hospital (TN Medical College) have received similar directions from their institutes.

While Cooper Hospital had released an official circular in this matter, students of KEM Hospital received messages over WhatsApp asking them to voluntarily join the medical team.

“We know the BMC (Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation) has been thinking about this for a while but didn’t know that the institutes were going to implement it too. Nobody knows what sort of work the students will be expected to do,” said the parent of a third-year student from KEM Hospital.

In the message circulated on Saturday, students were informed that they will mostly be given counselling and other ground-level work, and will have no direct contact with patients. “For now, students living in Mumbai and hostelites currently stuck in Mumbai have been invited to join the workforce. Only interested students can approach the dean (academics) and the job will be explained well,” states the message.

The circular further mentions that the number of days served by each student on Covid-19 duty will be considered part of their bond service, and will accordingly be deducted from the compulsory bond service they have to clear once they graduate. “All the students will mostly be paid 30,000 a month as stated by the government,” the message reads.

Some students said they were happy to help. “The message clearly mentions that the job will be more of counselling work. Considering it to be our duty, I won’t mind helping,” said a third-year student.

BYL Nair Hospital also requested MBBS students to join relief efforts as ‘Covid warriors’. Nair Hospital dean, Dr Mohan Joshi, in a circular, on Saturday informed students that their transport, accommodation and food will be taken care of by the hospital if they join.

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