Postgraduate students at the cancer department of Maulana Azad Medical College (MAMC) stayed away from hospital duties on Monday to protest against the discontinuation of the radiotherapy course at the institute.
The Medical Council of India (MCI), the regulator of medical colleges in the country, last month had cancelled MAMC’s radiotherapy-teaching licence after it found all the relevant machines dysfunctional. Radiotherapy is the use of high-energy x-rays and similar rays to destroy cancer cells.
The MCI derecognised the course because the students were reportedly not getting experience on the equipment. “The senior resident doctors (postgraduate students) did not attend their hospital duties as they wanted to express their disgust at the administration’s callous attitude towards teaching,” said a medical official at the Lok Nayak Hospital on anonymity.
“The patients had a tough time as the consultants alone had to handle the work load. While the wait was long for some patients, some also must have gone home unattended,” the official said.
“I was waiting in the queue since 8am and met the doctor at 2.30pm,” said Ram Prasad, 64, who had come with his wife, a breast cancer patient.
The angry students also went to the dean’s office to protest. “The students of the radiotherapy department had approached me in the afternoon,” MAMC dean Dr AK Aggarwal said, adding, “They wanted to discuss their problems but I asked them to resume work. I have promised to hold discussions on Tuesday.”