Nagpur News : Union Health Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad met with the representatives of agitating medical students and assured them that there were no plans to extend the MBBS course and make rural postings mandatory for doctors. A letter to this effect has also been sent to the Medical Council of India. Protests by medical students erupted all across the country after the MCI announced plans to extend the existing MBBS course from 5.5 to 7.5 years which would include a compulsory rural posting before being eligible for PG exams.
Protesting students had submitted a memorandum against the proposal to extend the duration of MBBS course and compulsory one-year rural posting. In a release issued by the ministry after the meeting, Azad stated that taking care of the students’ demands, the concerned officials had been directed to keep the proposal in abeyance and a letter in this regard had been issued to the Medical Council of India.
‘He (Azad) listened to all their concerns patiently and allayed their (students’) fears regarding Medical Council of India notification in respect of one-year mandatory rural posting of PHC after completion of MBBS, before they seek admission to PG course,’ said the release. The medicos called off the strike on Thursday evening after the Health Minister ceded to their demands. Earlier, the police had lathi-charged and used water cannons to disperse the agitating students which resulted in several students getting injured.