Belagavi: The members of the Indian Medical Association’s (IMA) Belagavi Chapter along with interns and students of private and government medical colleges staged angry protests against the Union government’s proposed National Exit Test (NEXT) for doctors.
President of IMA Belagavi Chapter Prakash Rao said the Centre through an amendment to the IMA Act, 1956 introduced a common exit, which is an eligibility test for Post Graduate courses and an exit test for inclusion of his or her name in the Indian Medical Register.
However, the proposed NEXT examination after completion of MBBS has raised several concerns among the students who study a rigorous and exhaustive curriculum on modern medicine for five-and-half years, including one year internship as stipulated by the Medical Council of India, he said.
Their examinations are conducted by universities recognised by University Grants Commission. Such being the case, introduction of NEXT would not only be redundant, but also undermine institutions such as IMA, MCI, UGC. It would also amount to questioning universities’ efficiency and their evaluation systems. Also, the selection of candidates for PG courses through NEET was already in vogue as per the directions of the Supreme Court.
Dr. Rao said that NEXT would lead to discrimination against Indian graduates. It was also matter of concern that if a student failed to clear NEXT, he/she would be compelled to study one more year. Such a situation would further widen the doctor-patient ratio.
IMA general secretary Anil Patil said students of MBBS and doctors were opposed to NEXT and therefore, the government should reconsider its proposal and withdraw it immediately.