Foreign MBBS graduates could need double internships to practice in India

Express News Service

NEW DELHI:  Unprecedented delay in admission of PG doctors in medical colleges across India this year has forced resident doctors to demand a quick decision on the issue so that the burden on them, working at nearly one-third of the sanctioned strength, is eased.

The National Eligibility cum Entrance Test-PG saw a long delay and even after the test was held in September after nearly nine months, there is now a stay on the process of counselling as some candidates have challenged the reservation policy adopted for admission.

The examination, conducted usually in December-January, was first deferred to April in view of the COVID-19 pandemic.

In April, when the second wave of the pandemic hit the country, the government announced the test would not be conducted before August 31, which would allow final year students and interns to focus on clinical duties. The test was finally held on September 11 and results were out in October.

The delay in admissions, due to the ongoing litigation, has meant that medical colleges, which have nearly 85,000 junior residents from the three batches, are effectively working with just one-third of the force.

“Resident doctors are the backbone of medical colleges but the delay means first year PG students have not joined yet, while third year students have already passed out. Very few of them are later reabsorbed in institutions as senior residents,” pointed out Rohan Krishnan, president of the Federation of All India Medical Association.

He said that this has put extraordinary burden on the existing junior residents who are made to do double shifts to make up for the reduced work force and are burnt out. Krishnan demanded that the PM and the health minister should intervene to ensure that the Supreme Court gives a judgement during the next hearing on November 24.