The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Rollback signal on MBBS fees

Calcutta, July 7: The health department is likely to reduce the proposed tuition fees for MBBS courses from Rs 1,000 per month.

State health minister Surjya Kanta Mishra, who will place the health budget on Wednesday, is likely to make the announcement in the Assembly, according to indications at the health department today. Presently, the course fees is Rs 12 per month.

Students’ unions oppose the plan to charge Rs 1,000 per month from MBBS students, arguing that even post-graduate medical courses at hospitals cost between Rs 750 and Rs 1,000.

When the decision to hike the MBBS fees was announced early this year, several students’ bodies, including those of the Left Front, had opposed it. They said that Rs 1,000 a month was too high for the course and asked the health minister to review it.

The decision had also evoked sharp reactions from various doctors’ bodies, including the Indian Medical Association. The association had threatened to launch an agitation if the fees were not reduced.

A senior health department official hinted that the department is also not ready to risk a controversy at a time when the Medical Council of India is scheduled to inspect three more hospitals in the state.

The health minister refused to comment on this. “Whatever I have to say, I will say in the Assembly,” he replied.

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