AAP workers protesting against the MBBS fee hike outside medical education minister OP Soni’s residence at Rani Ka Bagh in Amritsar on Wednesday.(Sameer Sehgal /HT)
AAP workers protesting against the MBBS fee hike outside medical education minister OP Soni’s residence at Rani Ka Bagh in Amritsar on Wednesday.(Sameer Sehgal /HT)

MBBS fee hike: GMC doctors, AAP workers stage protest in Amritsar

GMC doctors wore black badges, AAP workers gheraoed OP Soni’s house
Hindustan Times/Amritsar | By Mandeep Kaur Narula, Amritsar
UPDATED ON JUN 03, 2020 04:35 PM IST

Protesting against the state government’s decision to hike the MBBS fee by around 80%, doctors and students of Government Medical College (GMC), Amritsar, wore ‘black badges’ on Wednesday while workers of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) gheraoed medical education minister OP Soni’s residence at Rani Ka Bagh.

The protestors said the Punjab government had taken an ‘anti-people and anti-poor decision’ which will make medical education impossible for the middle class and economically weaker sections.

‘PLUTOCRATIC DECISION’

Amritsar Medical Student Association president Dr Vaibhav Chawla said, “Around 1,000 students, interns, senior residents and faculty members of GMC, Amritsar, wore black badges to show solidarity against the plutocratic decision of the government. MBBS students also staged a peaceful protest on the college premises.”

‘FEE ALREADY 55% HIGHER THAN OTHER STATES’

“The government had earlier hiked the MBBS fee by 160% in 2015 and now it has announced another 80% hike. The fee of MBBS courses in Punjab is already the highest in India. It is around 55% higher than other states. Non-meritorious students from rich families will now get admission,” he said.

Meanwhile, APP workers held a protest march from Valmiki Chowk to the residence of the medical education minister. Barnala AAP MLA Meet Hayer, Suman AAP MLA Aman Arora and AAP state youth wing president Manjinder Singh participated in the march.

Majha Zone AAP president Kuldeep Dhaliwal, said, “Around 200 AAP workers raised slogans against the minister after gheraoing of his house. Later, we came to know the minister was in Patiala so we handed over a memorandum to his office workers, demanding roll-back of the decision to hike fee.”

“The MBBS fee in government-run colleges in the state has been increased 12 times in 10 years and the 80% hike will be a setback for aspiring doctors,” he said.

INCREASE DOCTORS’ SALARIES: AAP

“The government is filling its own pockets by hiking students’ fee at a time when they are working as frontline warriors while combating the Covid-19 outbreak. Instead of hiking the fee, the government should increase doctors’ salaries and inters’ stipends,” said Dhaliwal, adding that AAP will intensify its protest if the government does not roll back the decision.

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