30 per cent of doctors appointed by Uttarakhand government fail to join service

Express News Service

NEW DELHI: The National Medical Commission has agreed to make significant changes to the draft post-graduate medical education regulations 2021 bill, which had proposed common counselling for all institutions on the basis of national rankings but did not fix a minimum stipend for junior residents. Several doctors’ bodies, including the Indian Medical Association, had been demanding multiple changes in the proposed regulations.

Senior officials at the Commission met representatives of the IMA on Thursday and accepted suggestions to modify various contentious clauses.  For example, the draft had proposed common Central counselling for admission in all medical educational institutions for all PG broad specialty courses (diploma, MD and MS) based on the merit list of the National Exit Test (NEXT). The Commission agreed to amend it to provide for simultaneous counselling at both national and state levels for their respective quotas by competent authorities without disturbing state reservation.

It also accepted a proposal to specify a minimum stipend. IMA president J A Jayalal, who participated in Thursday’s meeting, told this newspaper that while PG residents are paid up to Rs 1,00,000-1,10,000 as monthly stipend in some states, the figure is  as low as Rs 15,000 elsewhere.

“If the purpose of the Commission is to usher sweeping changes such as uniformity in examination and syllabus, it should also ensure that our PG residents are paid uniform remuneration,” he said.  The Commission has also agreed to relook the draft proposal to introduce a mandatory three-month residency for PG students in district hospitals. Jayalal pointed out that as district hospitals do not have teachers, it will not substantially aid the learning of PG students. He suggested that the training period be brought down to one month from the proposed three months. 

The Commission has now assured that the eligibility of super specialty courses for various disciplines will be subject to an expert group’s opinion. Also, faculty with PhD will be given special consideration. And the NEXT exam improvement will be allowed on an yearly basis. All these are part of the modifications to the draft bill released last month. 

NEXT exam from 2023The NEXT exam — the common examination for final year MBBS students that will also double up as an entrance test for PG medicine courses — is set to begin from 2023