Published: 11th August 2022
Health activists, resident doctors praise NMC's notice on students' mental health; ask NMC to ensure implementation
Dr Ghonia informs that the mental health of PG students is a crucial issue because the stress level for the doctors is very high
The National Medical Commission (NMC) has recommended that the mental well-being of postgraduate (PG) medical students and resident doctors be taken into consideration. The NMC notice, dated August 10, has been addressed to the authorities of all medical colleges imparting postgraduate degrees.
The notice states that the doctors should be provided with proper rest, a weekly day off and also counselling sessions. It comes after issues like lack of rest and continuous working hours for doctors were taken up to the NMC. "Organisations like FAIMA (Federation of All India Medical Association), FORDA (Federation of Resident Doctors Association) and IMA (Indian Medical Association) had been asking the NMC to take note of these issues," informs Dr Meet Ghonia, IMA standing committee member and health activist.
Dr Ghonia informs that the mental health of PG students is a crucial issue because the stress level for the doctors is very high. "There were many cases of suicide reported previously. When doctors take such steps, their colleagues are also affected, and some actually end up taking the extreme step later. So, the stress and problems of the PG doctors needed to be seriously considered," he said.
"Many RDAs (Resident Doctors' Associations), professors and faculty of various colleges across India have been approaching the NMC as well regarding this issue. The suicide cases have been increasing due to work stress and other problems. So it is a significant step by the NMC. I do not know how far the body can monitor if these recommendations are carried out across colleges, but this was very much needed," said an enthusiastic and optimistic Dr Karthik Nagula, a PG resident doctor and State President of the Junior Resident Doctors' Association, Telangana.
"It is a good step," Dr Ghonia agreed, adding, "I will be happy if it is implemented in the colleges. There have been many recommendations previously issued by the NMC which remained paperwork only, and have still not been implemented. Considering the seriousness of the issue at hand, the recommendations should be translated into practice."
"I suggest that the NMC should mention the specific working hours. The working hours should be between 8-12 hours and not more. The weekly day off should also be specified. And most importantly, counselling sessions should be scheduled for the doctors once in every month or two. Currently, the patient load is too much for the doctors. All the medical colleges should take steps to implement these," he said.
Dr M Rajeev, President of Senior Resident Doctors' Association, Telangana echoed these statements. "The recommendation is good and was needed, but the implementation is important. The college principals should direct all the HoDs to work on the recommendations," he said.