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NEXT in the Line of Fire: IMA Stages National Protest

In Career, Doctors Speak, Education, Health, Kochi
February 01, 2017

The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India, through the Medical Council of India (MCI) has proposed some amendments in the Indian Medical Council (IMC) Act to introduce “National Exit Test (NEXT)” for becoming Medical Graduates (MBBS).
“These proposed amendments for introduction of NEXT, a common Exit test for all MBBS studeDr K K Aggarwal, National President, IMA and Dr R N Tandon, Honorary Secretary General, IMA and others protest against NEXT_1nts are not
in the interest of medical profession in particular and health of the society at large”, said Padma Shri Awardee, Dr K K Aggarwal, National President, IMA and Dr R N Tandon, Secretary General, IMA in a joint statement issued here today.
If this amendment is implemented, it will create a discrimination between Indian Medical Graduates (IMG) and Foreign Medical Graduates (FMG). “Instead of introducing two exams, why cannot the government introduce a common final MBBS exam?” asked Dr Aggarwal.
The introduction of NEXT has already been mooted as the centre turning a blind eye to some harsh realities in medical education such as inadequate infrastructure in medical colleges, insufficient academic facilities, and faculty shortage. The test was introduced as a substitute to three tests, including NEET for postgraduate admissions, recruitment for central health services, and the foreign graduate medical examination.
Speaking on the issue, Dr Ravi Wankhedkar, National President (Elect), IMA and Dr R V Asokan, Chairman, Action Committee, IMA, said that “MCI is empowered enough to check the standards of final MBBS exam by each medical university/college, The need for another exam when the students have already cleared the final MBBS exam is unclear”.
Adding to these aspects, IMA Kerala, State President, Dr Pradeep Kumar V.G and State Secretary, Dr Samuel Koshy in a joint statement said that the amended IMC Act may allow anyone having MBBS from China or Russia and 3 to 6 months diploma to bypass the screening exam and get themselves registered in India and start practice.
Dr Sunil M.K, President and Dr Madhu V, Secretary of the IMA Kochi branch in a joint statement, said that unless the final examinations are held and internship started uniformly at the national level and the NEET held within one month of MBBS exam, the stress of PG exam will continue to loom over the minds of the medical graduates to such an extent that PG students will keep committing suicides. They will also miss skilled training in internship just because they need to mug up multiple choice questions (MCQs).
Supported by IMA HQs and IMA state and
local branches, thousands of medical students from over 200 medical colleges throughout the country boycotted classes and conducted rallies holding placards and handed over the Memorandum to the state and local administrative heads. All the Students pledged to intensify their stir if their demands are not met immediately.