Medical colleges most likely will reopen soon as the Centre has directed state government to take necessary steps in this direction. All educational institutions including medical colleges were closed in the month of March as part of several measures undertaken by the government to contain the COVID-19 pandemic. As per a PTI report, the Union Health Ministry has asked state governments to take steps to reopen medical colleges from December 1 or before.
In a letter sent to states and UTs, health secretary Rajesh Bhushan advised that sufficient number of Covid beds may be available in the medical college hospitals to facilitate undergraduate medical training. In his letter to the chief secretaries and the administrators Bhushan said that the health ministry had obtained concurrence from the Ministry of Home Affairs for re-opening of medical colleges. “Accordingly, the states and UTs may take necessary steps to open the medical colleges on or before December 1, 2020,” the health secretary said in his letter dated November 25 as quoted by the report.
“Needless to say, all SOPs/guidelines with respect to social distancing and prevention of spread of epidemic issued by Central/states and UT governments will be followed scrupulously by all the colleges,” he further said.
The Centre’s directive comes following the recommendation by National Medical Commission for reopening of medical colleges from December 1 or before it for the MBBS students already pursuing their courses.
The NMC, has received representations from students and medical colleges. It noted that the current batch of interns (2020) have not completed their required clinical training and unless they do it, they would not be eligible for appearing for the PG-NEET exam. It also noted that the PG-NEET exam for the academic year 2021-22 has been delayed as the eligible candidates will be completing their training late. “Their training is required to be completed at the earliest so that the PG -NEET exam for the academic year 2021-22 can be held accordingly,” it said.