THE INDIAN Medical Association (IMA) has decided to hold a nationwide protest against the recently-introduced National Exit Test (NEXT). The test qualifies medical graduates to proceed for practice. On February 1, the Mumbai unit of the IMA will hold rallies and street plays to raise awareness about the disadvantages of the exam. “The details will be chalked out in a meeting on Sunday,” said Sagar Mundada, President of the youth wing of IMA, Mumbai.
The Union Health Ministry had announced NEXT in December under the draft Indian Medical Council (Amendment) Bill. To standardise medical education, the ministry made the exam mandatory for medical students, who will be able to use the ‘doctor’ title only if they pass the common exit test. The exam has received mixed reactions from stakeholders, with the IMA strongly opposing it.
“Instead of introducing a new exam to standardise medical education, the ministry should improve the quality of education and standardise the system already in place,” said Mundada.
“If an able medical professional does not qualify the NEXT, s/he will waste a whole year before starting practice,” said Mundada, adding that the intent of the ministry was correct but it was executed badly.
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