The National Medical Commission (NMC) on Wednesday urged medical colleges imparting post-graduate courses to take care of their students’ mental health and well-being by ensuring they get adequate rest, weekly offs, counselling, sanctioned leaves and a conducive working environment.
The commission has also asked these colleges to submit action-taken reports on the issue as well as the practice they follow with special mention of cases of suicide, gender bias and incidences of dishonour to a woman’s decency.
In a letter addressed to the directors, principals or deans of the medical colleges and institutions imparting post-graduate courses, Dr Vijay Oza, president of the Post-Graduate Medical Education Board, NMC, said it has received grievances from PG students (resident doctors) stating they are under stress due to long working hours, no weekly offs, non-sanctioning of leaves during emergency etc.
This issue has been flagged in the print media and also raised in Parliament, the letter said.
The PGMEB, in a meeting on June 28, discussed the grievances and decided that all medical colleges should take care of the mental health and well-being of the PG students by ensuring they get adequate rest, weekly offs, and counselling if necessary. The institutions should arrange yoga sessions on a regular basis, sanction leaves when required and respect the dignity of the students by providing a positive and conducive working environment, the board decided.
A committee may be constituted to look into the complaints and grievances received, including those from anonymous sources, Oza said.
“A healthy and stress-free resident doctor is critical not only for his her own well-being but also for the well-being of the patients he or she treats. All medical colleges and institutes are therefore requested to take necessary steps for taking care of the mental health and well-being of the PG medical students studying or working with them.
“An action-taken report on the issue as well as the practice being followed in the college or institute may be provided to the National Medical Commission on a regular basis specially mentioning the cases of suicide, gender bias and incidences of dishonour to a woman’s decency etc,” the letter read.