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Anu Parthiban|May 26, 2023
NEW DELHI: The National Medical Commission has made the District Residency Programme (DRP) mandatory for all postgraduate medical students admitted in 2021 batch onwards. DRP allows PG students to complete three months of residency in a district hospital. This is meant to tide over the shortage of doctors in district hospitals.
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The Postgraduate Medical Education Regulation (2000) provides for the three month DRP for PG students of broad speciality. These provisions were announced through a NMC notification dated September 16, 2020. However, due to COVID-19 pandemic it was not implemented.
According to the NMC regulations, District Residency Programme is made mandatory in district hospitals for three months and the rotation of students is to be done in the third, fourth and fifth semester of the PG programme.
The District Residency Programme (DRP) is also mandatory for students admitted in private medical colleges and deemed universities, the NMC said in a letter addressed to the director, Directorate of Medical Education of all states and Union Territories and principal of all the medical colleges in India.
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The decision has been taken by the National Level Steering committee chaired by the President, post graduate medical education board (PGMEB). Representations have been received from students admitted in the year 2020 seeking exemption from DRP as their final year examinations are approaching, the NMC stated.
The main objectives of the District Residency Programme (DRP) are to expose the PG medical student to the District Health System and involve them in health care services being provided at the District Hospital for learning while serving.
“It is also to acquaint them with the planning, implementation, monitoring and assessment of outcomes of the National Health programmes at the district level. And, to orient them to promotive, preventive, curative and rehabilitative services being provided by various categories of healthcare professionals under the umbrella of National Health Mission,” the NMC said.
As for the district hospital, it includes Community Health Centres (CHC) at Taluka Level subject to the condition that it is a public sector/government- funded hospital of not less than 100 beds with facility/staff for the designated specialties, the NMC said.
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“DRP being a new initiative, it will be flexible based on the requirements and necessary modifications in the regulations can be suggested,” it said.
The commission instructed the states to provide accommodation for resident doctors within the campus of district hospital or within a periphery of 2-3 km, so that they are available on call.
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