Arvind S, a final-year student of a government medical college in the city, said students from speciality courses have been working in the emergency units and taking care of medicine wards due to COVID-19.
“We should be practicing our speciality. However, as we have to do one week of COVID duty followed by a week in quarantine, the course structure has been affected and syllabus is lagging. We are ready to serve but the negligence on the part of public is leading to spike in cases, which is affecting us academically – and also our health,” Arvind said.
The government medical college and hospitals are conducting online courses for undergraduate students and some of the PG courses. However, that cannot address the disruption caused to the practical sessions required under the course structure.
Dr S Perumal Pillai, State office-bearer of Service Doctors and PG Association, said though online classes were being conducted for UG and PG students, the service doctors and PG students were at a loss academically after being put on pandemic duty and quarantine. However, the authorities have been neglecting several issues faced by them.
“We want the State Health Department to have back-up plans to ensure practical classes in the respective specialities for postgraduate students and consider the various problems faced they face while being on COVID duty,” said Dr Perumal.
A senior official with the Directorate of Medical Education said it was not possible to come up with alternate plans to cover the speciality courses at a time when coronavirus cases are surging. “Once the cases go down, senior officials would come up with a course plan for the students,” the official said.