They issued a 10-day ultimatum for scrapping the draft internship policy
Students of medical and dental colleges on Tuesday demanded that the health ministry change its decision to increase the internship period from one year to two years.
They issued a 10-day ultimatum for scrapping the draft internship policy.
Students under the banner of "All Students of Medical and Dental Colleges" made the announcement at a press conference in the Jatiya Press Club in the capital.
"If our demand is not met, we will launch a tougher movement, including the boycott of classes and examinations, after September 18," said Shaimul Reza, a 5th year student at Dhaka Medical College (DMC).
On August 7, The health ministry issued a circular seeking opinion from stakeholders over fixing the two-year tenure of internship for medical and dental students.
The last date of giving opinion is September 18.
Since then, students of medical and dental colleges have been demonstrating against the draft policy.
However, the ministry removed the draft policy from its website and said the policy was withdrawn "temporarily".
"We want unconditional and permanent scrap of the policy," said Abrar Hasan, another 5th year student of the DMC said.
After the press conference, they submitted a memorandum to the Bangladesh Medical and Dental Council (BMDC).
BMDC registrar Arman Hossain told The Business Standard that they will forward it to the health ministry.
Meanwhile, about 500 students held a rally in front of the Central Shaheed Minar, demanding the withdrawal of the proposed policy permanently.
"Internship is the time to learn from teachers. If we are appointed in upazilas, we will hardly find professors there from whom we can learn. So it is ludicrous to fix the two-year internship," said Md Nuruzzman, a fifth year student of Sir Salimullah Medical College.
The draft policy proposes posting the second year medical interns to an upazila health complex upon completing the first year of the internship in their respective medical college hospitals.
At present, an aspiring physician, on completion of the five-year MBBS course, has to undertake one year internship with a temporary license from the BMDC, the statutory body with the responsibility of establishing and maintaining standards of medical education and recognition of medical qualifications in Bangladesh.
The license becomes permanent on completion of the internship from their respective medical college hospitals.
Internship is a part of the entire medical curriculum. It is a crucial training. If you pass medical, you are not a complete doctor until and unless you go through proper internship, said Dr Sheikh Abdullah Al Mamun, general secretary of Foundation for Doctors' Safety and Rights.
"This training must be taken under supervision. Where will you get supervisors in upazila health complexes?," he added.
He also said the current environment at the upazila health complexes is also not fit for young doctors to go and attend to patients.