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24 hours continuous duty system abolished in Tamil Nadu

24 hours continuous duty system abolished in Tamil Nadu

Postgraduate students and M.B.B. S interns have a reason to rejoice in Tamil Nadu. Following the plea of the students as well as high court order directing the directorate of Medical Education to take appropriate action, the DME, Chennai has come out with a fresh notification to that effect.

The DME, Chennai has instructed all Government Medical Colleges/Hospitals to implement the work timing for PG and CRRI’s as follows:-

  • Regular Duty time for Post Graduates and CRRI’s are 8.00 AM to 2.00 pm on all days except Admission day. After 2 PM the Post Graduates/CRRIs are on call duty as per their Duty Roaster.
  • On Admission days in the concerned unit all PG and CRRIs will work from 7.00 AM to 1.00 PM after they should divide into two batches and first batch will work from 1.00 PM to 9.00 PM and Second Batch will work from 9.00 PM to 8.00 AM of next dat. On post admission day, regular duty follows.


This notification comes after the Interns and Post Graduate Association of Tamil Nadu had filed a writ petition in Tamil Nadu high court to direct the respondent authorities to grant weekly off and Government holidays and also provide for 8 hours duty pattern for the medical interns undergoing intern-ship in the State of Tamil Nadu. The grievance made was that the working hours are too long, at times running continuously up to 36 working hours or more during their intern-ship period.


On further deliberation, in the counter affidavit filed by the Health Secretary of the Tamil Nadu, it is stated that a Meeting was held with the Interns and Post Graduate Association of Tamil Nadu on 20.9.2013, where the following clarification was issued.


“As mentioned in the guidelines in such departments also, the authorities responsible shall adjust the intern experience to maximize interns’ opportunities to practice skills in patient care in all aspects in rough approximation of the time allocation suggested so as to ensure that the internees get wholesome and holistic learning experience and exposure. As envisaged in the guidelines, the internees must be guided and mentored by the regular medical teachers, as this is the only time when they can learn freely under the guidance of experienced hands. With regard to the issue of duty hours, it is recommended that to the extent feasible, on admission day after 2.00 p.m., the Unit Chiefs/Professors may provide adequate physical and mental rest by giving appropriate break in turns to the internees.”


The court was of the opinion that it is not possible for this Court to govern how the period of intern-ship is utilized for the benefit of the candidates and it is for the Government and the colleges themselves to manage the issue. Having said that the court ordered that endeavour should be made at the ground level to adhere to the time period mentioned, as far as possible, to facilitate some free time to these interns to refresh their mind.


You can find a copy on the High court order by clicking on the link below

Interns and Post Graduate Association of Tamil Nadu order

You can find a copy of the order of Directorate of Medical Education, Chennai on the link below


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