MBBS FEE HIKE

Resident doctors back students, protest in Amritsar

Wear black badges during duty hours

Manmeet Singh Gill

Tribune News Service

Amritsar, June 3

Taking up the cudgels on behalf of MBBS students and aspirants, the Resident Doctors’ Association Punjab (RDAP) at Government Medical College (GMC) held a protest against the recent hike in course fee announced by the state government.

The resident doctors, along with many from the faculty, wore black badges as a mark of protest during the duty hours. The resident doctors protested after finishing off their shift and sought rollback of the hike.

The government has recently announced an 80 per cent hike in fee for MBBS course. With the decision coming into force from the ensuing session, students would have to pay Rs 7.80 lakh instead of Rs 4.40 lakh for the entire course.

The protesters stated that the fee had been increased 875 per cent since 2012. Until 2012, students had to pay Rs 80,000 for the entire course. With the government increasing fee in 2013, the MBBS students had to pay Rs 1.50 lakh. With another hike in 2015, the course fee rose to Rs 4.40 lakh.

Jaswinder Partap Singh, the president of the RDAP, said: “With the 80 per cent hike in fee, students would have to pay approximately Rs 2 lakh per year.” He said many deserving students would not be able to join the course as they could not pay the fee. He added that the standard of health services in the state would go down as meritorious students wouldn’t be able to join medical courses because of the high fee. Dr Vaibhav Chawla, the president of Medical Students Association at the GMC, said: “When we joined the course in 2015, the annual fee was from Rs 30,000 to Rs 80,000. In the last five years, it has reached Rs 2 lakh per year.”

He said families of many students enrolled in the course would not be able to pay the increased fee. The resident doctors stated that they would continue to wear black badges till the decision was revoked.

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