Doctors say that the present MCI regulations give unfair advantage to candidates working in remote or hilly areas.

 TN govt doctors protest against Madras HCs order imposing MCI regulations for PG admissions
news Medical admissions Monday, April 24, 2017 - 21:27

Government medical colleges and hospitals across Tamil Nadu have been witnessing protests for the last one week. This after the Madras High Court upheld the Medical Council of India’s (MCI) regulation awarding incentive marks to government doctors working in remote areas in admission to postgraduate courses.  

In its April 17 order, the Madras High Court ordered that the Tamil Nadu government provide 30% incentive marks to ‘in-service’ candidates, who served in hilly or remote areas.

As per the TN regulations for PG admissions that have been in force for several years, candidates working in rural areas were given one mark for every year of service, two marks for ever year of service in hilly and remote areas, limited to a maximum of 10 marks.  

However, the court struck down the state regulations, and instead upheld MCI’s regulations awarding up to 30% of National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET) score as incentive in PG admissions.

There are 21 medical colleges in Tamil Nadu and 1,225 medical seats in total for PG courses in the state. Out of this, 50% of the seats are allotted to candidates appearing through the All India Entrance Exams and the remaining are reserved for government servants in Tamil Nadu.

“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,” said Ramalingam, state organizing secretary, Service Doctors and Post Graduates Association.

Calling it a disproportionate advantage to candidates working in remote or hilly areas, doctors from all four government hospitals in Chennai are participating in the protest, which is staged every day between 7am and 9.30am. Sampath Kumar, a doctor from Madras Medical College 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.”

Their demands include that Tamil Nadu be exempt from NEET.  

Meanwhile, Chief Minister Edappadi Palaniswami had last week written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi seeking his intervention on medical admissions. In his letter, Palaniswami had requested the PM’s intervention 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 aimed at by-passing NEET.

While the state government has decided to challenge the Madras High Court’s order, doctors warn that if they do not get a positive response, the will go ahead with mass agitations. 

(Edited by Anna Isaac)

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