Madras High Court orders incentive marks for PG medical students on COVID duty-

Madras High Court has ordered the award of weightage marks to the PG medical students, who have rendered COVID-19 duty, in the appointment of assistant surgeons to the government hospitals while rejecting the plea of private doctors seeking a similar incentive, stated a report in The New Indian Express.

The government initiated the process for recruitment of 1021 assistant surgeons in government healthcare institutions last year.

The first bench of Chief Justice SV Gangapurwala and Justice D Bharatha Chakravarthy passed the orders on Thursday, November 16, on a batch of petitions filed by PG medicos and private doctors.

Even though the services of PG medicos during COVID pandemic is considered part of their 36-month training period, they were also roped in for COVID duty, the bench noted.

“It is not in dispute that they put in the same kind of duty and underwent the same rigours as that of the other medical officers recruited by the State Government,” it observed.

The bench noted that the number of patients treated by the PG medicos and the amount of duty they rendered “is no less when compared to the temporary medical officers”¬†recruited for COVID duty.

The bench concurred with the contention of advocate Suhrith Parthasarathy that the duties rendered by the PG medicos have been held equivalent to the regular medical officers in an earlier ruling of the high court.

Ordering the award of incentive marks to not only the petitioners but also to all those PG medicos who have rendered the service, the bench directed the authorities to provide them COVID duty certificate within fifteen days.

While upholding the government order (GO) Ms 278, which provides for incentive marks for doctors rendering COVID duty in government hospitals, the bench dismissed the petitions filed by the private doctors.

Agreeing with the contention of the government authorities that 84% of the patients were treated in government hospitals and there is no verifiable mechanism to check the claim of private doctors of having done COVID duty, the bench said, “the state is very well justified in making the classification of medical officers on duty at the Government Hospitals.”

Additional Solicitor General (ASG) ARL Sundaresan appeared for the Union Government while Additional Advocate General (AAGs) Ramanlal and J Ravindran appeared for the Tamil Nadu government.

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