Union Health Ministry has directed the states and union territories to initiate the necessary steps required to reopen the medical colleges on or before December 1, 2020. The ministry has however added that the colleges must follow the COVID-19 guidelines for reopening.
In a letter addressed to all the chief secretaries and administrators of all the states and Union Territories a senior health ministry official has stated that the states and union territories must take the necessary steps to open the medical colleges on or before December 1, 2020. The official further stated that the Standard Operating Procedures or guidelines related to social distancing and prevention of the spread of epidemic issued by the central or state or union territory governments must be followed by the colleges.
The health ministry letter, after the recommendation from the National Medical Commission, mentioned that the NMS has also given a suggestive schedule for the training of different classes mentioned in the letter. The NMC has further advised that enough number of non-covid beds must be made available in medical college hospitals to facilitate undergraduate medical training. The health ministry has also obtained permission from the Ministry of Home Affairs for reopening the medical colleges in the states and union territories.
In the recommendation letter of the NMC, the medical colleges across the country have been asked to reopen on or before December 1, 2020, for the MBBS students who are already pursuing the programme.
Academic Session for UG PG students
As per the recommendations of the NMC, the delayed new academic session for 2020-21 should commence from February 1, 2021, while the new pG Session for the 2020-21 academic year must begin by July 1, 2021. The PG NEET Exams for the Academic year 2021-22 needs to be conducted by March-April 2021. The letter also recommends restarting the facilities for both patients and inpatient management for non-COVID patients.
Undergraduate training for medical students
The commission has also added that the hospitals attached to teaching hospitals have been converted to complete COVID hospitals in several states. With the opening of the medical colleges and in order to facilitate undergraduate training all the medical colleges and affiliated hospitals will be required to have a sufficient number of beds for non-COVID patients due to which facilitates both outpatient and inpatient management for non-Covid patients must be restarted if not already done.
State governments will also be issued with necessary directions by the central government to reopen the medical colleges and also make non-COVID beds in the affiliated medical college hospitals to facilitate undergraduate medical training. The colleges are required to follow the COVID-19 reopening guidelines issued by the authorities in central or state governments.