Candidates who complete the course will be eligible for posting in primary health care centres

Medical students, house surgeons and government doctors staged a brief protest at the Mahatma Gandhi Memorial Government Hospital on Wednesday opposing the Central government’s proposal to introduce the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET), a nationwide common test for entry into postgraduate medical courses.

Medicos from the K.A.P. Viswanatham Government Medical College along with members of the Tiruchi chapter of the Tamil Nadu Government Doctors Association ( TNGDA) formed a human chain and raised slogans for around 20 minutes on Wednesday morning. While thanking the Tamil Nadu Chief Minister for supporting their stand, they felt the NEET, a common test to be administered for all government and private medical colleges would do the students from the state a disservice. “If the NEET is introduced, 50 per cent of total postgraduate seats in all medical colleges in the State would come under the all-India quota, which may affect students here , limiting the number of students open to them,” said Selvapandian, president, Tiruchi chapter of the TNGDA.

The demonstration also called for striking down the introduction of B.Sc. Community Medicine, a three and half year course designed to make up for shortage of medical practitioners in rural areas. Candidates who complete the course will be eligible for posting in primary health care centres. “Creating a separate cadre of professionals to serve in peripheral areas implies treating rural patients as second class citizens. Besides, three and a half years does not suffice to qualify them to practice any form of medicine,” said Dr.Selvapandian.