Doctor Doolittle

The government’s decision to not allow students holding an MBBS degree from China to undertake internship in government hospitals has sparked protests. The guardians of the students also staged a sit-in on the premises of the Ministry of Health and Population on Sunday, because the decision would leave the career of hundreds of final year students in limbo. Moreover, internship in Nepal would help the students have firsthand experience of the peculiar medical problems they will have to deal with during their medical practice.

At a time when there is a dearth of doctors, the decision may also deprive the country of the services of hudreds of doctors. However, it is also true that most of the fresh medical graduates instead of serving in the remote regions - where they are needed most - have tended to stay in hospitals in the capital. This tendency and internship in the capital’s government hospitals has also resulted in most of these hospitals being overcrowded. This has in turn provided not much opportunity for the interns to learn and affected patient care with too many novices being around. Nonetheless, the government must have a valid reason to deny internship to specific groups of students. This discrimination should not exist. Either the government should come up with valid reasons for its decision, or it should reverse its decision.