Putting off NEET-PG exam, an unhealthy move bound to worsen Covid healthcare

Those not in the medical field may not know this, that across the country, government hospitals and many private ones are run by medical post-graduate (PG) students. The Covid pandemic last year and the second wave that is on now have been mostly handled by PGs. Calling them “students” is a misnomer as they are all in reality full-fledged doctors who are entirely competent to run hospitals and take care of a variety of sick patients.

The government recently postponed class 12 CBSE exams. Understandable, as there were lakhs of students slated to appear and they could be at risk of contracting Covid-19. But postponing NEET-PG that enables MBBS doctors to specialise? That appears to be a short-sighted decision with far-reaching consequences in hospitals which are already suffering from shortage of everything—from life-saving oxygen and Remdesivir to the number of doctors attending to Covid patients.

The NEET-PG exams were originally scheduled to be held on January 10.  Without giving any reasons, the government put off the exams to April 18. At that time, the first wave of Covid had died down and cases were at a minimum. Now, using the second wave as the reason, it has again been put off to an unspecified date.

Those not in the medical field may not know this, that across the country, government hospitals and many private ones are run by medical post-graduate (PG) students. The Covid pandemic last year and the second wave that is on now have been mostly handled by PG students. Here, the word “student” is a misnomer as they are all in reality full-fledged doctors who are entirely competent to run hospitals and take care of a variety of sick patients. Typically, the PGs are supervised by senior residents, consultants and veteran specialists.

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