Expedite Process to Conduct NEET PG 2021, FORDA writes to Union Health Secretary
New Delhi: Pointing out the difficulties faced by both resident doctors as well as the MBBS graduates who are preparing to pursue post-graduation, the Federation of Resident Doctors' Association (FORDA) has recently written to the Union Health Secretary requesting expedite the conduction of NEET PG 2021 examination.
The Association has pointed out in the letter dated 03.07.2021, that the delay is affecting both the PG medical aspirants and also the Resident doctors who are not allowed to leave before the fresh batch joins duty.
"As a repercussion of this happening, the final year PG residents are serving a seemingly indefinite extension of their tenure. Delay in conduction of NEET PG 2021 is causing misery to the academic career of the aspirants as well as residents serving tenure extension," FORDA stated in the letter.
Medical Dialogues had earlier reported that due to the delay in the conduction of NEET PG 2021 and all other medical examinations across the medical institutions, the National Medical Commission (NMC) in an advisory released in April had mentioned that all the PG medical students were asked to continue their services as resident doctors until a fresh batch of MBBS graduates join to serve. The decision had been taken to ensure that there would not be any shortage of Residents to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic.
A few days later, the Prime Minister's Office announced its decision to postpone NEET-PG for at least 4 months and utilize the services of fresh pass-outs for COVID duties.
The PMO release further mentioned that the services of Final Year PG Students (broad as well as super-specialities) as residents may continue to be utilized until fresh batches of PG Students have joined.
All this has resulted in a situation where the examination which was earlier expected to be conducted in January 2021, is not "long overdue" as after the onset of the second wave of the pandemic, the examinations were postponed indefinitely.
"As a result, the medical institutions across the country are falling short of manpower due to inability of the first year PG residents to join the course," FORDA pointed out in the letter directed to the Union Health Secretary.
Speaking to Medical Dialogues regarding the issue, Dr. Manish, President of FORDA said, "The exam has already been delayed. It was first pushed to be held in December and January, and now we are in the month of July. Till now, there has been no notification regarding when they are going to hold the examination."
Reflecting on the Government's earlier announcement to hold the examination after August, he added, "Even if they are planning to conduct the examination on August or after that, the Government should at least release the notification one month prior to the examination. This delay is causing immense anxiety among the aspirants."
Further, commenting on the difficulties faced by the PG resident doctors due to this delay, Dr. Manish added "Residents doctors who are currently working at the hospital will not be allowed to leave after the examination and they will have to continue working as PG residents until the fresh batch joins. Moreover, their extended tenures are not being counted as senior residents. So they are at loss from all aspects."
It should be mentioned in this context that while considering a petition filed by a Legal Trust who claimed that the postponement of the NEET PG examination only one day prior to the examination, the Karnataka High Court had recently held that decision to postpone NEET-PG 2021 was taken in view of the second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic.
During the proceedings of that case, the High Court had taken note of the submissions made by the counsel for the Centre, which clarified that the dates of conducting the examination would be notified after August 31, 2021 and the authorities would also ensure that the students get time for their preparation.