New Delhi, October 17: A Board of Governors (BoG), vested with the powers of the Medical Council of India (MCI), has proposed that all postgraduate (PG) medical students will have to serve in district hospitals for a minimum of three months in order to be eligible for appearing in the final examination.
As part of a compulsory rotating internship, students pursuing undergraduate medical courses are attached to primary health centres or urban health centres for three months at present.
The BoG has written to the Health Ministry for the development of guidelines in implementing the proposal for PG students in partnership with it and the state governments. This provision is expected to come into force from the next academic session.
Strengthening services at district hospitals
“The move is aimed at providing practical experience to future specialists in the real-life setting of the country’s public health system. Also, this will help address the shortage of specialist doctors in district hospitals of rural and remote areas, and help strengthen services at such hospitals,” a senior government official has been quoted as saying to a national daily.
All postgraduate students shall undertake a rotation in designated district hospitals/health system, the note sent to the Union Health Ministry stated. As a part of the course syllabus, this is for duration of three months.
“Satisfactory completion of this rotation shall be an essential condition before the candidate is allowed to appear in the final examination of the respective postgraduate course. The Ministry of Health is requested to develop guidelines for the scheme in partnership with the state government and BoG in three months,” it read.
A district hospital will be defined broadly as a functional public sector or publicly-funded hospital having nearly 200 beds or more, for the purpose of the proposed programme. It will have facilities for specified specialties designated by the Centre or state governments.
PG students at disposal of govt.
For the course duration, postgraduates will be placed at the disposal of the government for rotation/posting by medical colleges, both government as well as private.
The note states that the rotation will be provisionally termed ‘District Residency Programme’ and the postgraduate student undergoing this posting will be termed as ‘District Resident’.