Over 500 students, junior docs to hit the street against NEXT
Kolkata: More than 500 medical students and junior doctors will hit the city's streets on Wednesday to protest against the Centre's move to introduce the National Exit Test (NEXT) for MBBS graduates and also the abolition of the Medical Council of India.
Union Health Ministry has proposed NMC Bill 2017, thereby replacing the Medical Council of India (MCI) with National Medical Commission (NMC), a new body and also to introduce the NEXT. If the proposed bill is cleared by the Parliament, the students who had already been selected through the National Eligibility and Entrance Test (NEET) would be asked to appear for NEXT after the completion of their MBBS degree at the end of five years.
To qualify themselves as doctors and to secure registration for clinical practice, one has to clear the exit examination. MBBS graduates will have to clear the exit examination for getting license for medical practice. The exit exam would also be serving as the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test, NEET for candidates willing to pursue post-graduate studies. The test is likely to be at the level of an MBBS final exam to assess the basic knowledge and skills of a medical graduate.
Many of the doctors' organisations in the city have already protested against the move, questioning why a student will appear for the exit examination after obtaining their MBBS degrees from a medical college.
Hundreds of junior doctors from various medical colleges in the city will take part in the protest rally wearing their apron on Wednesday. The rally will be jointly organised by the students' unions of various medical colleges and Progressive Junior Doctors' Association.
The rally will start at around 3 pm from gate number 6 of Calcutta Medical College and Hospital (CMCH) and pass through Central Avenue and College Street before ending at gate number 2 of CMCH.
The proposed exit examination has raised several concerns among the students who study an exhaustive curriculum on modern medicine for five-and-half years, including one year internship as stipulated by the Medical Council of India. The introduction of NEXT would put a question on the efficiency of the universities providing MBBS degree and their evaluation systems. NEXT would lead to discrimination against Indian graduates.
The proposed National Medical Commission (NMC) will consist of four autonomous boards which will take care of medical education at both undergraduate and post-graduate levels, assess the medical institutions and will register practitioners.