Delhi: Doctors petition PM Modi to regulate fees of private medical colleges

Dr Harjit Singh Bhatti, President of AIIMS Resident Doctors Association (AIIMS RDA) has started a petition on a social media platform. Several doctors have also backed the petition registered by Dr Bhatti by signing it. So far, the petition has garnered 26,305 signatures online

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Dr Bhatti has written a petition to highlight the issue of exorbitant fees charged by private medical colleges.

He has asked the Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi to look into the matter and take the initiative of regulating the fees, so that medical education can be accessible to the common man.

The petition deals with the fact that most of the aspiring students belong to middle class or lower middle class families and simply cannot afford the expensive fees. It is vital to regulate the fee structure in private colleges, so that more students are encouraged to come forward and pursue medical education.

Dr Harjit Singh Bhatti

While speaking to My Medical Mantra, Dr Harjit Singh Bhatti, President of AIIMS Resident Doctors Association (AIIMS RDA), said, “Private Medical Colleges are charging a huge amount as fees from the medical students. The students who will pass out from these medical colleges, will not serve the poor patients in rural areas. Instead, they will set up their own hospitals/clinics in cities. This will have a cascading effect on the health care system, which will collapse.”

He further explained, “Students who are academically very strong, but financially weak, will not get admission into private medical colleges. That is why we have started this petition. Our demand is that the government should appoint a committee under the chairmanship of Ret. Judge of the Supreme Court to decide the fee structure. We will soon submit this petition to the Prime Minister of India.”

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The petition uploaded on to the website by Dr Harjit Singh Bhatti states:

‘According to CBSE data, in 2018, around 13.5 lakh MBBS aspirants had given NEET examination to serve their nation through medicine for around 65000 MBBS seats. This data clearly shows the level of competition for aspiring doctors. The number of MBBS seats is only 5 % of the aspirants

After clearing NEET hurdle with their die-hard efforts, aspirants come to know that around 60 % of seats are in private medical colleges.

According to Medical counselling committee (MCC) website fees of private medical colleges can range from 8 lakhs to 40 lakhs per annum for government regulated seats and up to one crore per annum for management quota seats. As most of the aspirants are from middle class or lower middle-class families, this huge amount of fees put major setback to their ambitions and psychology.

Many students take education loans to fulfil their dreams but then unregulated private medical colleges further pressurise students to pay money beyond mentioned on MCC website.

Apart from this, students are also forced to pay hostel fees in lakhs and thousands of rupees as fine for minute penalties.

This greed of private medical colleges to earn maximum from every medical student put traumatic pressure on students which results in mental breakdown.

It is crucial that policymakers must regulate greedy private medical colleges which are turning into a death trap for medical students.

I request all medical students, doctors, and families of MBBS aspirants to sign this petition to secure the future of yours and your children.

We request the government to equalise fees of private medical colleges with government medical colleges for at least 85 % of overall seats. This will restore people’s faith in government and medical education as medical education is not an industry and is not for making profits but to secure the health of our countrymen.’