New Delhi: Taking cognisance of the hardship that many doctors are facing on account of the fact that the centre has not approved the notification taken out by Medical Council of India (MCI) on increasing the age limit of Senior residentship (SRship), the Madras High Court recently pulled up the central government in this regard
Senior Resident-ship (SRship) is a necessary entry point to medical academics in India. Medical Dialogues team had earlier reported about the move of the MCI BOG to amend the rules to increase the maximum age of Senior Resident (SR) from 40 years that was fixed in 2017 to 45 years from now on.
However, while the draft was sent to the Central Government for approval, the same was not approved and the gazette to this effect has still not been released
A group of doctors working as Government Doctors in Tamil Nadu Medical Service, qualified with PG Degree and presently working in Medical College Institutions coming under the Directorate of Medical Education (DME) filed a petition with the Madras HC against the TEQ regulations of 2017 that prescribe upper age limit of 40 years to be posted as Senior Residents
The petitioners pointed out they got admissions in the PG course in years 2014-15, 2015-16, 2016-17 and 2017-18 prior to 08.06.2017, on which date there was no provision in Minimum Qualification for Teachers in Medical Institutions Regulations, 1998 prescribing below 40 years of age for the post of Senior Resident. Accordingly, the petitioners have joined the PG Medical Courses after considerable years of service in Government in DPH and DMS side, to be posted as Senior Resident/Assistant Professor in DME side for their career prospects in teaching line, including promotion to higher post in DME side, after completing the teaching experience in the concerned speciality department as required under the MCI Rules. The fact remains that at the time of joining the PG Medical Course by the Petitioners, there was no age limit prescribed for the post of Senior Resident and therefore the Petitioners was selected for PG degree courses by undergoing the process of selection to become Senior Resident/Assistant Professor on completion of the course, though they crossed the 40 years age limit on the date of completion of the PG course.
The petitioners pointed out that with the notification of 2017, though now posted as Senior Resident/Assistant Professor in DME side, they would be prejudiced in the event of their services not counted as Senior Resident/Assistant Professor for the purpose of teaching experience and for promotional opportunities.
With the HC referring the matter to the MCI and the government earlier, the BoG vide its letter dated 23.05.2019 recommended to raise the maximum age limit for appointment of Senior Residents in medical colleges from 40 to 45 years by amending the Minimum Qualifications for Teachers in Medical Institutions Regulations, 1998.
“Accordingly, it has been decided in this Ministry to to raise the maximum age limit for appointment of Senior Residents from 40 to 45 years,” stated the letter by Under Secy Ministry of Health
In response to the submission, the counsel of the petitioner pointed out that though a decision has been taken by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India, New Delhi, vide proceedings dated 12.06.2019, raising the maximum age limit for appointment to the post of Senior Resident from 40 years to 45 years, unless and until it is notified by both Medical Council of India, as well as the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India, New Delhi, the same would come into effect.
Responding to the submission , the court then directed the Secretary to the Government of India, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, New Delhi, Respondent No.1, to approve the draft notification sent by the Medical Council of India and publish the same in the Government gazette, within three weeks.