Chennai: The past week has seen a rising uproar of protest by doctors in government medical colleges and hospitals across Tamil Nadu, against the Medical Council of India’s regulation, awarding incentive marks to in service doctors as well as the issue of exemption from NEET.
The Madras High Court in its April 17 order directed the state government to provide 30% incentive marks to ‘in-service’ candidates, who served in hilly or remote areas.
The earlier state regulations pertaining to doctors serving in rural areas involved granting of one mark for every year of service, two marks for every year of service in hilly and remote areas, limited to a maximum of 10 marks.
However, the MCI regulation awarding upto 30% of National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET) score, as incentive in PG admissions, was upheld by the Court in its April 17 order, striking down the earlier state regulation of granting incentive marks.
In an earlier report, the Medical Dialogues team had reported that Court had clear cut directed the state government could not deny incentive marks to in service candidates who had served in rural/hilly/remote areas as mandated under the Post Graduate Medical Education Regulations, 2000. This had been made clear by the Madras High Court, in its reply to a plea moved by Rajesh Wilson. “The State government, in the absence of any basis, is trying to give a go-by to the Post Graduate Medical Education Regulations, 2000, brought in by the Medical Council of India with the sanction of the Centre,” Justice Pushpa Sathyanarayana said.
Read more at Medical Dialogues: State government cannot deny incentive marks to In-Service Candiatates: TN HC
With 21 medical colleges and 1,225 medical seats for PG courses in the state, 50 % of the seats are allotted to candidates appearing through the All India Entrance Exams and the other 50% are reserved for government servants of the state.
“The order gives preference to ‘in-service’ candidates who work in remote areas. We have only 70 Public Health Centres in remotes areas and about 2000 government hospitals. Only 10% doctors who work for government sector will be able to avail this incentive,” Ramalingam, State Organizing Secretary, Service Doctors and Post Graduates Association told the News Minute.
Doctors serving in the four government hospitals of Chennai, calling the incentive weightage of marks ‘ a disproportionate advantage’ to in service candidates are part of the protest launched against it. The protest is staged every day between 7am and 9.30am
A Madras Medical College medical practitioner said, “About 1000 postgraduate medical students and doctors have been protesting against the court order for the last one week. We are boycotting services for outpatients for two hours in the morning and not taking any special duties or convoy duties.”
The Tamil Nadu Chief Minister, Edappadi Palaniswami in a letter written to the Prime Minister’s office has also sought his intervention on the issue of medical admissions.
The letter demands that PM Narendra Modi help the state in seeking the President’s nod for two state bills – Tamil Nadu Admissions to Post Graduate Courses in Medicine and Dentistry Bill, 2017; and Tamil Nadu Admissions to MBBS and BDS Courses Bill, 2017, which aims at by-passing NEET.
There is information that the state intends to challenge the Madras High Court’s order. Doctors are talking of mass protests, if the marks weight age proposal is not done away with.