The Kerala Medical Postgraduates Association (KMPGA) is going ahead with the State-wide token strike they had called in all Government Medical College Hospitals on Monday, to protest against the authorities’ ‘total disregard for the issue of acute human resources shortage in these institutions.’
Postgraduate medicos, who form the backbone of patient care service delivery in all Medical Colleges, will withdraw all non-COVID and non-emergency services for 12 hours, from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Monday.
They said the acute shortage of human resources in wards and ICUs in the State was seriously affecting patient care delivery. All residents were overworked following continuous shifts and the situation cannot be managed like this forever, they said.
Clinical exposure suffers
They KMPGA said they were also extremely worried that more than half of their three-year postgraduate training had been spent on COVID care, to the exclusion of other clinical exposure, training and academics.
They said that talks with the Director of Medical Education had not been fruitful. The issue of human resource shortage had been raised several times with everyone from Medical College Principal to the Health Minister, in the past six months.
On skill sets
The medicos said they had willingly joined the State’s COVID-care fight, sacrificing half their course period, which should have been spent on acquiring skill sets for their chosen specialities. But with the current batch of house surgeons leaving and one batch of residents preparing for their examinations, the staff shortage had become acute.
The association demanded that the COVID patient load be shared by other peripheral institutions so that medical training and academics can resume in medical colleges. It demanded that additional human resources be sought with the help of National Health Mission and increase the non-academic senior resident posts.
The medicos are also demanding incentives/risk allowances for resident doctors and reinstatement of the annual 4% hike in stipend.
They wanted the 2016 MBBS final year batch who completed their practical examinations to be posted as house surgeons with immediate effect.