Maharashtra: DMER Plans Proposal to Waive ₹20 Lakh Seat Leaving Penalty for Doctors Battling Mental Illness

Maharashtra: DMER Plans Proposal to Waive ₹20 Lakh Seat Leaving Penalty for Doctors Battling Mental Illness

This comes after the resident doctors highlighted that the mental health of all doctors is concerning and there is a need for a change in policy to avoid psychiatric treatments.

Swapnil MishraUpdated: Friday, November 24, 2023, 01:26 AM IST
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Mumbai News: DMER Proposes Waiving ₹20 Lakh Seat Levy For Mental Illness Candidates | Representational Image

The Directorate of Medical Education and Research (DMER) has planned to submit a proposal to the state government to waive the ₹20 lakh seat leaving penalty for candidates with mental illness after they had a joint meeting between the medical education commissioner and Maharashtra Association of Resident Doctors (MARD) representatives. This comes after the resident doctors highlighted that the mental health of all doctors is concerning and there is a need for a change in policy to avoid psychiatric treatments.

“We are working on a proposal which has to be submitted to the government for which all aspects have to be looked after. We are also concerned about mental health problems faced by doctors across the state due to which they think of opting out but it’s not the solutions for which meeting was conducted and all these points were discussed,” said an official from DMER.

MARD had raised issues concerning mental health of doctors

MARD had previously raised issues related to mental health concerns among resident doctors in the state and requested mental health-friendly policies in medical education. The alarming statistics of suicides among medical students in Maharashtra, as mentioned by Dr Sarbik De, the vice-president of Central MARD, prompted the association to approach DMER for necessary reforms.

The proposal to create a provision for not penalising residents who wish to opt out of their postgraduate courses due to mental health issues is a crucial move in addressing the challenges faced by resident doctors. The heavy penalty amount has been a barrier for those seeking psychiatric treatment and wanting to leave the course.

Additionally, the establishment of college and state-level grievance redressal committees for mental health issues, as proposed by MARD and accepted by the medical education department, is a positive development.

Resident doctors who have undergone psychiatric treatment still face issues: MARD

Dr Abhijit Helge, president of MARD, said that the fact that resident doctors have undergone psychiatric treatment and still face barriers to leaving the course due to heavy penalties highlights the urgent need for policy changes in the medical education system. Moreover, their emphasis on waiving the penalty specifically for those with mental health issues, and not for other reasons, shows a targeted approach to addressing the unique challenges faced by individuals dealing with mental health concerns.

Furthermore, the decision to collect data regarding hostel space inadequacies and work on improving hostel facilities is a step toward addressing the living conditions of resident doctors. The commitment to conduct a comparative study to assess the quantum of stipend hikes within a specified timeframe reflects a proactive approach to improving the overall conditions for resident doctors in Maharashtra.

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