Medical Colleges Could Reopen From 1st December: NMC
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Medical colleges could restart physical classes from 1 December as the number of Covid-19 cases start coming down in most of the country. The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has written to all states and union territories, emphasising the need to have classes resume at the same time across India in the interest of standardisation. Delaying the classes any further could result in 80,000 fewer doctors than planned in five years’ time.

The new academic session 2020-21 is set to commence from 1 February, and the new PG session from 1 July 2021. The PG NEET exam is set to be scheduled around March-April 2021. The curriculum is already delayed by 4 months and for the current batch of interns. The NMC has also given a suggestive schedule of training for different classes that is annexed with their letter, Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan said.

“Further, the NMC has advised that sufficient number of non-Covid beds may be made available in medical college hospitals to facilitate undergraduate medical training. The ministry has also obtained concurrence from the Ministry of Home Affairs for reopening medical colleges in states and UTs,” Bhushan wrote.

Online classes for medical students started when colleges were allowed to teach virtually but there was always a concern regarding practical class and patient contact specially in the senior year. States like Karnataka and Uttar Pradesh, have opened colleges with strict norms. A new curriculum is also set to be introduced from this year, where there will be more community connect.

The health secretary asked states and UTs to take necessary steps for the reopening of medical colleges from the appointed date. He reiterated that all standard operating procedures and guidelines on social distancing and infection prevention, as issued periodically, will have to be followed in the colleges.

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