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Students shout slogans during a protest demanding re-evaluation of answer sheets of the MBBS first professional examination conducted by the Aryabhatta Knowledge University (AKU), at PMCH, in Patna on Monday. Image Credit: ANI

Patna: Authorities in Bihar have ordered for the suspension of 180 medical students for frequently disrupting health services in the state to express their anguish over their failure in the first year’s professional examination.

Around 40 per cent of students of the 2019 batch who failed in the professional MBBS examination have been protesting on the streets and inside the health institutes for the past fortnight causing much inconvenience to the patients. The disruption of health services comes amid an outbreak of viral fever and Dengue cases affecting mainly children, resulting in crowding of patients at all hospitals across the state.

The action followed shortly after they disrupted the health services for the second time on Monday. All the students placed under suspension belong to Patna Medical College and Hospital (PMCH), the premier hospital which has a maximum load of patients. The medicos have also been told to leave the hostel rooms with the warning that they will be allowed to join classes only on submission of affidavits by their guardians stating that their wards would not indulge in such activities in future.

“We had to act against the medicos otherwise it will encourage gross indiscipline,” PMCH principal Dr Vidyapati Choudhary told the media on Tuesday. He announced to take stern action against the protesting medicos if they didn’t mend their ways. He said the students’ demand had nothing to do with the PMCH as their examination was conducted by Aryabhatta Knowledge University, Patna.

The students have been demanding for their promotion on the basis of internal marks or re-evaluation of their answer sheets. “The failed medical students should be promoted on humanitarian grounds during this COVID-19 period. A number of students from various courses have already been promoted during this time in the country. The failed medicos too deserve similar treatment,” an Indian Medical Association (IMA) leader Dr Sachchidanand Kumar said.

Not only the PMCH but all the nine medical colleges have been witnessing protests from the medical students who failed to clear the exam. The frequent disruptions of health services are causing much inconvenience to the hapless poor patients.

Prabha Devi, who suffered from a severe cough, was one such patients who had to wait for over three hours to see a doctor. “I have had a severe cough for the last several days and the doctors suspect I may have tuberculosis,” she said. Another patient Mahendra Chaudhary who had come for his treatment at the orthopaedics department too had to wait for two hours.

According to a memorandum submitted to the Bihar governor on behalf of the IMA, of the total 1,172 students from nine medical colleges who appeared for the first year MBBS examination, 447 were declared failed. The MBBS is an undergraduate medical degree in the course to become a doctor. MBBS is one of the best professional degrees in science and medicine.