Medical college students demonstrated in the capital yesterday, demanding cancellation of a proposal to extend their internship duration to two years from one year.
Around 12pm, about 5,000 students brought out a procession from Central Shaheed Minar which ended in front of Jatiya Press Club.
On August 7, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare published a draft policy proposing a two-year internship for medical students.
As per the policy, the students will have to complete an additional year of internship at the upazila health complexes to obtain their MBBS degrees.
However, medical students had termed the move “a breach” of their academic contract. They also said the plan will prolong their academic life.
Against this backdrop, the ministry “temporarily withdrew” the policy saying that it will remain suspended “for the time being” and a final decision will be put forward after discussion with all parties.
After the procession, the students also held a press conference at the Press Club, threatening to go for indefinite class boycott across the country from September 18.
Abrar Hasan, a fifth year student of Dhaka Medical College, said, “In India, a student needs around eight and a half years to complete MBBS with post-graduation while we need more than 12 years. In this context, the decision is totally absurd.”
The demonstrators also claimed that there is lack of ideal academic environment at the upazila health complexes compared to any tertiary level hospital.
“The health complexes lack expert doctors under whom the intern doctors can get proper education,” said Kazi Shaimur Reza, another fifth year student at DMC.
They also said they are sceptical about security for the interns, especially for females, at the upazila level healthcare facilities.
Following the press conference, the students submitted a memorandum to the president of Bangladesh Medical and Dental Council.