Unit chiefs, professors told to provide them adequate breaks, in turns
Tamil Nadu Health Secretary J. Radhakrishnan has instructed all Government medical colleges and hospitals to ensure Compulsory Rotatory Residential Interns (house surgeons) are more exposed to clinical work rather than routine activities.
In a circular dated July 31, 2013 (a copy of which is with The Hindu), he said that as per the guidelines issued by Medical Council of India (MCI) and The Tamil Nadu Dr. MGR Medical University, medical graduates were expected to conduct actual practice of medical and healthcare during internship thereby acquiring the necessary skills, under supervision, to function independently.
Compulsory Rotatory Residential Interns had staged a State-wide protest on Monday demanding improvement in working conditions.
Following representations from the interns, the Secretary had directed the Deans of all medical colleges in the State to constitute a committee to supervise the training of interns.
Care must be taken to ensure house surgeons did not get stuck in routine works such as administering injections and intravenous fluids, writing indents, drawing and transporting blood samples, carrying blood bags from blood banks to the wards, and collecting x-rays results, besides other works.
On the issue of a weekly day off demanded by house surgeons, the circular stated that it would be taken up with the MCI and the medical university to implement it without affecting the overall duration of training. Further, he also told the unit chiefs and professors to consider providing adequate breaks, in turns, to house surgeons.
This was because, the house surgeons had claimed that they were working anywhere between 22 to 36 hours without a break.
Welcoming the Health Secretary’s circular, A.K. Abinesh, president of the Compulsory Rotatory Residential Interns Association, Coimbatore Chapter, said that interns hoped that these directives would be implemented effectively.