Medical aspirants upset over postponement of NEET-PG exams

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The Centre’s decision to postpone the National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test for postgraduate courses (NEET-PG) has angered several students who are pursuing internship in various hospitals in the state. Delaying the examination will extend their anxiety, said several doctors, while final year MBBS students expressed displeasure over the move to utilise their services for Covid-19 duties.

NEET-PG exams were to be held in January this year but were postponed to April and now again to August. According to Dr Chinmay Akre, state president of Indian Medical Association-Medical Students Network, postponement of NEET-PG by four months is disheartening and discouraging for medical aspirants.

“This is exploiting the effort and time of all MBBS pass-outs who are preparing for NEET-PG for the past few months. A further delay in holding the examination is sheer mismanagement, resulting in severe loss of time for young doctors. This has also led to a disturbance in the psyche of those doctors who are the future of medical sciences,” Akre said.

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While young doctors understand that this is an emergency situation, postponing the examination is not the solution, he added.

Sohel Inamdar, regional coordinator of Association of State Medical Interns (ASMI) for Maharashtra, said students are upset over this decision. There was no reason to postpone the examination as this will delay the process of getting doctors into the system, he said.

Restricting final year PGs to conclude their scheduled study only means delay in sending out specialist doctors, several doctors said, adding that recruiting young doctors without providing adequate resources is not going to help much.

According to Ashish, a PG student from a Mumbai-based government medical college, the least the government could have done was to defer the bonded service.

“Examinations should have been held in January when Covid cases were few. As part of our internship, we are involved in Covid duties and then have to apply for a government bond service before the NEET-PG exam. We do not mind the bond service but this means posting at other places and not much time for studies. At this rate, our ranking could suffer. Also, our stipend is Rs 11,000 per month unlike our counterparts elsewhere,” he said.

Dr J A Jayalal, president of IMA (national), said the Centre has taken a retrograde decision to postpone the NEET-PG examination. “Postponement by eight months means we are missing almost a year for the postgraduate doctors to join and serve. The government is willing to conduct panchayat elections but not PG admissions,” he said.

Dr Ravi Wankhedkar , former national president of IMA, said this decision will lead to more shortage of doctors. “It will also add to the burden of these doctors, who are physically and mentally fatigued. We need to have conducted the NEET-PG examination at the earliest to bring in doctors in the system,” he said.





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