Tamil Nadu : Human Chain protest against NEXT, National Medical Commission
Madurai: The state of Tamil Nadu registered a strong protest against the introduction of the National Exit Exam(NEXT) and the creation of the National Medical Commission in place of the Medical Council of India on Tuesday, both in Madurai and Thoothukudi.
Madurai saw members of the Tamil Nadu Government Doctors’ Association (TNGDA), Indian Medical Association (Madurai branch) and medical students form a human chain to register their unwillingness to accept the government proposal in the form of NEXT and the creation of the National Medical Commission in place of the MCI.
Doctors were of the opinion that Indian Medical Council (Amendment) Bill, introducing the union government’s proposal for a uniform examination across the country for eligibility to practice and join post graduate courses would be ‘unfair’ to medicos. They felt that since students already had to undergo multiple examinations as part of their curriculum to get their degrees, NEXT would merely be an additional burden.
“Our examinations and syllabus are recognized by the government. If there is a need for another examination, is the government undermining its own system,” questioned U.K. Kandha Kumar, students’ Council President, Madurai Medical College, and as reported by the Hindu.
P Jayakumar, an MMC postgraduate described NEXT as unjustified.
The doctors also criticized the government’s move to allow Ayurveda, Yoga, Unani, Siddha and Homeopathy (AYUSH) doctors to practice allopathy in certain circumstances. Mr. Jayakumar said, “On the one hand, government is producing ‘qualified quacks.’ On the other, it wants to filter qualified doctors, when there is already a huge shortage of doctors.”
Senthil, President, TNGDA, felt the NEXT proposal, if implemented would be a big blow to quality in the medical profession. NEXT he felt would benefit privatization of medical education and centralization of regulatory powers with politicians and bureaucrats, with no say for doctors. Balasubramanian, President, IMA Madurai branch, and R.V.S. Surendran, member, Tamil Nadu Medical Council, were also part of the protest.
Meanwhile, the Tamil Nadu Government Doctors’ Association, Thoothukudi, also staged a demonstration protesting against both NEXT and the creation of the NMC on the premises of Thoothukudi Government Medical College Hospital on the same day. They reiterated that the creation of the National Medical Commission in place of the MCI would go against the interest of doctors. The protesters raising slogans demanded the withdrawal NEXT and the fulfillment of their other demands
Moses Paul, Secretary, and S. Vijaya Ragavan, Treasurer also joined the protest demonstration as reported by the Hindu.