Medical students, resident doctors protest fee hike

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Mumbai, Feb 15 (PTI) Resident doctors and thousands ofmedical students of government-run medical colleges todayobserved a day-long protest against the latest fee-hike.

State cabinet recently approved a more than two-foldincrease in the fees for MBBS and other courses in thegovernment colleges.

Around 5000 doctors of Maharashtra Association ofResident Doctors (MARD) and around 15,000 medical studentsprotested the hike by wearing black bands or black dresses.

Fee for the MBBS course has been increased from existingRs 18,000 to Rs 45,000 per year from the next academic year.

MARD said the hike will affect the poor students badly.

The hike will also hit the students of Ayurvedaand Dental colleges, said Dr Pankaj Nalawade, Secretary MARD,here.

According to the state minister for medical education DrVijaykumar Gavit, the increased fees won''t be applicable toexisting medical students.

Nalawade said that MARD has put forth other demands too,such as need to improve infrastructure for doctors who arewilling to serve in rural areas.

"We oppose the increase in bond amount (for those who donot wish to serve in rural areas post-graduation) severaltimes," he said.

MARD is also demanding a centralised well-equippedsecurity system and health insurance policy for Residentdoctors (RMOs).

Protest did not affect the services in the statehospitals, MARD said.

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