PG Doctors of India must work not more than 48 Hr/week: SC
Ministry of health and family welfare, Government of India sent consolidated instructions to all states and UT administration vide letter number S-11014 /3/91 ME(P) regarding implementation of Uniform Central Residency Scheme after the directives of the Supreme Court in its judgment dt. 25.9.87 in writ petition No. 348-352 of 1985, The instruction No.13 of this letter ‘Hours of Work’, it is mentioned that
“Continuous active duty for resident doctors will not normally exceed 12 hours per day. Subject to exigencies of work the resident doctors will be allowed one weekly holiday by rotation. The resident doctors will also require to be on call duty not exceeding 12 hours at a time. The junior Residents should ordinarily work for 48 hours per week and not more than 12 hours at a stretch subject to the condition that the working hours will be flexible as may be decided by the Medical Superintendents concerned keeping in view the workload and availability of doctors for clinical work.”
As we see, here total weekly hours of work (48 hrs/week) as well as the maximum hours in single stretch (12 hours) are clearly defined. Of course the authorities may remind us the flexibility given in above instruction. However
“A doctor at his 20th-24th hour of continuous duty in Emergency ward, if not able to provide proper care to the patient for whom even a single minute can prove life saving or Fatal. This way if patients suffer than who will be HELD RESPONSIBLE, the Doctor on duty or the HOD or DME or the Govt.?”
Because doctor is performing unofficial extended hours, and he/she has the reason to state that doctor was not in his/her proper mental and physical condition due to chronic sleep deprivation and exhaustion. In fact this extended hour coincides with the mid night and early morning time, when all those patients who come to casualty irrespective of there diagnosis, feel that if
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17. NHS Management Executive. Hours of work of doctors in training: