A dental college in Madhya Pradesh allegedly asked its final-year students to bring their own patients for practical examination against the provisions of the Dental Council of India.
The students had no option but to pay their "patients" to accompany them to the practical examination which started on March 29. The incident was reported in Bhopal's Rishiraj College of Dental Sciences and Research Centre.
However, college administrative officer Jyoti Ray rejected the allegation and said the college had enough patients for the examination.
Several final-year students alleged that making students arrange for 'patients' was a regular practice at the college. This time the college didn't give them sufficient time to do so. It was tough finding a patient because "neither our friends nor anyone else was ready to accompany us," said a student, requesting anonymity.
He said that they had to shell out Rs 50 to Rs 500 to make a person agree to be a "practical specimen". "Not only this, we had to arrange snacks and cold drinks for them from our pocket," alleged another student.
The students said they couldn't lodge a protest against the college's diktat as many of them had to complete the internship too and any move could reflect on their career.
HT spoke to a patient who admitted that she was paid Rs 50 for each practical exam. The next day she accompanied the student's friend for the same amount, she said.
Dental Council of India member Chandresh Shukla said arranging patients was a college's responsibility. Asking students to do so was against the DCI norms, which clearly state that a dental college should maintain a specific number of patients in the out-patient department (OPD) for the practical examination.
"The DCI can cancel a college's affiliation if the college is unable to maintain the required number of patients in the OPD for practical examinations," Shukla said, adding a DCI squad keeps paying surprise visits to dental colleges to make sure they follow the set norms.
He said the students should register a complaint with the DCI against the college.