Nepalis students, who were compelled to return to the country before completing their MBBS course from China due to the coronavirus outbreak in early 2020, have yet again staged a demonstration in the capital demanding that they be given a chance to complete their internship in hospitals here.

As many as 153 aspiring doctors from batch 2015-2016 were flown back to Nepal before completion of three more semesters.

After arriving in Nepal, the students d completed their theoretical classes through online learning platform from China.

Nepal Medical Council, a topmost governing body for medical professionals in the country, had issued a notice to allow the foreign returned medical students to complete their classes through online platform.

It has been nearly a year since the students from China completed their theoretical course.

But, neither the Government of China has shown any interest in taking the students back to the country to allow them their rightful internship, nor has the NMC made it easier for them to join internship in Nepali hospitals.

Without completing the required hours of internship in hospitals, MBBS students will not be eligible to get the MBBS degree.

Frustrated students were forced to stage today's protest after the NMC, a few days ago, allowed the students to complete their degree in Nepal by joining private teaching colleges. This decision has not only added to the financial burden of students, but they are still required to study for more than two-and-a-half years here in Nepal.

"By now we would already have completed nine months of paid internship in hospital, had the government acted promptly. But, the government, who should have helped the students in this regard, acted arbitrarily to benefit private medical institutes," said one of the students, who did not want to reveal his identity.

Another student, Abhishek Yadav, 26, said that it was the government's ill-intention to tell students to complete internship from private colleges rather than government hospitals. With the NMC's recent decision, each student will now have to submit Rs 15 to 22 lakh to medical colleges to complete their internship.

Only after that will the colleges back in China issue them the certificate of graduation, after which they will have to yet again take a licencing exam conducted by the NMA to be a certified doctor. The medical interns in Nepal are entitled to minimum Rs 15,000 salary per month as per the hospitals' requirements.

Agitating students have warned that they will continue their protest until the authorities rectify the decision.

A version of this article appears in the print on December 7, 2021 of The Himalayan Times.