Hundreds of medical students walked from Manipal Centre to Cubbon Park on Monday, as part of the ‘Save the Doctor’ campaign, demanding the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare to make the number of seats in undergraduate (UG) and postgraduate (PG) levels equal.
The students said that India lacks specialist doctors as the number of PG seats in medical institutions is inadequate.
“There are only 47,600 UG seats as opposed to 12,000 PG seats in clinical disciplines. Every year, so many MBBS graduates compete for a few PG seats and backlogs reduce the chances for candidates,” said Devesh Ballal, a third year MBBS student from M S Ramaiah Medical College.
As many as 900 students participated in the gathering held later. Speaking of the compulsory one year of rural service after MBBS, M Lakshmi Prasanna from Sri Devaraj Urs Medical College, Kolar, said, “Rural service must be made a part of our postgraduate course. We spend 5.5 years for our MBBS. If it is introduced during that time, it will extend the duration of our course. Besides, we won’t be specialised enough to handle the health problems in rural places,” she said. The protest was simultaneously held in Jaipur, Hyderabad, Mysore, Guwahati and Hisar.