Speed up NEET PG 2021: KARD writes to PM Modi
Bengaluru: Mentioning the significant reduction in Covid-19 cases, the Karnataka Association of Resident Doctors (KARD) have recently written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi requesting him to conduct NEET PG 2021 as soon as possible.
Further pointing out that conducting the postgraduate medical entrance examination (NEET PG) would be the only way to increase the manpower; the resident doctors from Karnataka have also added that expediting the process to conduct NEET-PG would make the country better prepared for the third wave.
In the letter dated 05.07.2021, KARD tried to bring the Prime Minister's attention to the situation where the exam which was earlier scheduled to be held in January 2021, has been already postponed by seven months in anticipation of the second wave, and in an attempt to ensure safety of the young doctors.
However, the letter mentioned, "It is also noteworthy that most of the post-MBBS doctors have been preparing for this exam for more than a year and it would be unkind for the government to turn a blind eye towards their hard work."
Medical Dialogues had earlier reported how 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 had further mentioned that the services of Final Year PG Students (broad as well as super-specialties) as residents may continue to be utilized until fresh batches of PG Students have joined.
The association also pointed out in the letter how the resident doctors have continued with their COVID duties despite their upcoming MD/MS exams. The letter mentioned, "For more than a year, junior residents across the nation were the front liners in battling this pandemic. During the second wave, it was an incredibly difficult task to manage patients due to the huge burden on healthcare system. As case load increased, we were grossly understaffed and over worked beyond measure but still continued to contribute. Even with MD/MS exams nearing many residents have contributed during the pandemic."
"Now that we are approaching a situation where there is significant reduction in COVID cases and the situation is ideal before any third wave hits, it is our humble request to conduct NEET PG as soon as possible to be better prepared for the third wave. No definite timeline has been released by the NBE with regards to this. NEET PG is the one and only way to definitively increase our manpower and hence the exam should be considered as a national priority and conducted without any further delay," added the letter.
Meanwhile, speaking to Medical Dialogues, Dr. Namratha C, president of KARD said, "The exam was supposed to happen in January, this year. Nearly 2 lakh aspirants after completing their internship are eligible for NEET-PG. The Government needs to prepare itself for the third wave in all aspects, and it won't be done only by improvising the non-living resources but they need to take care of the human resources as well. Karnataka Government medical colleges itself has around 3,000 resident doctors. We are in the final year and soon going to leave soon.
Just imagine, with the previous batch not joining and one batch leaving the campus, it leaves us with two batches. So, there will be a huge crisis of manpower, in the Government medical colleges alone. Including the Private medical colleges there will be a shortage of around 8,000 resident doctors if the exam remains pending still."
Further stressing upon the anxiety and stress of the aspirants who are going to write the exam, Dr. Namratha added, "the aspirants have been preparing for nearly two years for the exam. It's not like any other exams but one of the toughest competitive exams where around 2 lakh candidates would compete for 40,000 seats."
"On top of everything, the entire process takes around 3 months. So, if the exam gets conducted after august only, the next batch won't join until November-December. So the government should at least plan for announcing the dates, so that the aspirants also get some clarity regarding the issue," she added.
Medical Dialogues had recently reported how the Federation of Resident Doctors' Association (FORDA) had also written to the Union Health Secretary requesting to expedite the process to conduct NEET-PG. The Association had pointed out in the letter dated 03.07.2021, that the delay was affecting both the PG medical aspirants and also the Resident doctors who are not allowed to leave before the fresh batch joins duty.
Later, FAIMA also voiced the same concerns and wrote to a member of the Parliament requesting him to take up the matter before the Government.