Tag Archives: US President Joe Biden

COVID pandemic: Who will come to the rescue of junior doctors; how long MBBS and MD exams will be in the clutches of the tottering exam system

Lalit Shastri

Striking Junior Doctors in Bhopal

The US President Joe Biden, only the other day said that the vaccination programme to fight the Covid pandemic has been backed by the augmentation of the work force engaged as COVID warriors.

Biden said that the US after suffering an economic downturn is now bouncing back. All this has happened, first, as they had made the vaccine program a priority and as there weren’t enough vaccinators, so they went to FEMA, the United States military and got retired docs and nurses to come out of retirement — got thousands and thousands of additional people to administer the vaccines that they didn’t have before.

Nearer home, India is fighting the second wave of COVID pandemic. The situation is so bad in India that it has even been decided at the level of the Prime Minister to cancel the Twelfth examination of Central Board of Secondary Education to protect children and many state Governments, including the Central Indian State of Madhya Pradesh, have followed this up by announcing the cancellation of State Board exams.

Instead of taking a cue from the decision to cancel the higher secondary Board exams and doing the same for final MBBS and MD, especially keeping in view the huge shortage of doctors, those occupying positions of authority in government have failed to act in this direction. One does not understand why the authorities have not kept already in focus the fact that final MBBS students are being used like ward boys and they are not even being paid any stipend in private medical colleges, where the situation is dismal.

Dr Devi Shetty had emphasised this point much earlier and gave a formula for augmenting the work force in terms of junior doctors at the national level by giving a go-bye to the Macaulay’s system of examinations that India inherited from its colonial past.

In this backdrop, we have reached a pass where about 3,000 striking junior doctors working in the six government run medical colleges in Madhya Pradesh resigned en masse from their posts on Thursday after the Jabalpur High Court told them to call off their strike and return to work.

Question arises – what is it that the Madhya Pradesh junior doctors are demanding. They are only asking what is overdue to them. The junior doctors, who have completed two years of their 3-year MD programme and for more than a year they have been attending to COVID patients in the hospitals, want a hike in their stipend, waiver of exam fees and full medical coverage for themselves and their families in case they get infected by the deadly COVID-19. The junior doctors in Madhya Pradesh, besides tendering enmasse resignation, have announced that they will challenge the decision of the High Court division bench of Chief Justice Mohammad Rafiq Ahmed and Justice Sujoy Paul. The Court has given them 24-hour deadline and instructed strict action against the striking doctors if they fail to resume work.

From the doctors’ angle, the situation has been aggravated by the State government as it has taken too long to issue orders to increase their stipend. To make matters worse, it is learnt that their enrollment for the third year PG has also been cancelled and consequently they will be debarred from taking their examination.

Newsroom24x7 Network adds:

From the MP Government side, State Medical Education Commissioner Nishant Warwade told media persons that Minister of Medical Education Vishvas Sarang had informed the Junior Doctors Association representatives on many occasions that steps had been raken to meet their demands and as per the Consumer Price Index, a 17 per cent increase in stipend of junior doctors has already been approved and soon orders to this effect will be passed. Besides hiking stipend, the government is also implementing medical insurance schemes for them, the Health Commissioner told journalists adding ESMA (Essential Services Maintenance Act) is applicable to doctors and it is hoped the striking doctors will return to work and start treating the patients.

We are in a race to see who wins the 21st Century: Joe Biden on US economy

Newsroom24x7 Network

We’ve turned the tide on the once-in-a-century pandemic.  We’ve turned the tide on a once-in-a-generation economic crisis.  And families are beginning to be able to breathe just a little bit easier…… We’re in a race to see who wins the 21st century – Joe Biden

Cleveland, Ohio: Speaking on the economy at Cuyahoga Community College Cleveland, Ohio, the US President Joe Biden said:

We’ve turned the tide on the once-in-a-century pandemic.  We’ve turned the tide on a once-in-a-generation economic crisis.  And families are beginning to be able to breathe just a little bit easier.

Biden talked of the campaign trail when he was running for presidency and it was decided then that you had to beat the pandemic to bring the economy back.  And so that’s what he set out to do on assuming office.

Drawing a picture, Biden said after administering 271 million doses of vaccine in the first 120 days — the cases are down now from January  — they’re down 83 percent — COVID cases are down.  The number of deaths has fallen by 85 percent.

Now, schools are reopening.  Businesses are reopening.  Restaurants are reopening.
Biden stated in clear terms  this is the moment to rebuild an economy from the bottom up and the middle out, not a trickle-down economy from the very wealthy.

Putting it in a broader perspective, he said the idea is  to build an economy that rewards work, not just wealth.  An economy that works for the backbone of this country — the people who get up every single day, work hard, raise their families, pay their taxes, serve their country, volunteer in their communities.

The US President said that there were 10 million fewer jobs in America when he was sworn in. But in his first three months in office, the economy has added back 500,000 jobs per month. Before he took office, almost 24 million Americans were going hungry.  The number of hungry Americans — food-starved Americans — has dropped by 30 percent, he added.

Biden said Before he took office, independent experts were projecting that thevUS economy would grow at 3 to 4 percent in the year 2021.  But they’re now projecting that growth will be 6 percent or higher in 2021 — the fastest growth in the US in 40 years.

According to Biden, all this has happened First, as they made the vaccine program a priority. 
As there weren’t enough vaccinators, so we went to FEMA, the United States military, went to the AMA and got retired docs and nurses to come out of retirement — got thousands and thousands of additional people to administer the vaccines that we didn’t have before, Biden informed the audience.

Further, Biden said that he doesn’t have any anything against anybody in Wall Street but Wall Street did not build this country.    The middle class built and unions built the middle class.
Looking beyond borders, Biden drew attention to China and said, it was number eight in their overall spending in research and development three decades ago; they’re now number two.

This past year, Japan, Canada, Italy, France, and the EU have announced significant infrastructure spending.  China has announced that they’re increasing their research and development spending dramatically.  Japan is making huge investments in reducing carbon emissions and building out the digital capacity they have.  Even the European Union. In this global scenario, he said “we’re in a race to see who wins the 21st century”.