Protest Against NLE leaves 40 doctors injured!

protest against NLE
⟶ Young doctors on the streets asking for cancellation of NLE
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If you are a medical student, you must be aware of the recent controversies of PMC. The National Licensing Exam (NLE) has received a very distressing response from the students and doctors. Further, the PMC thinks this is the only way to select competent doctors in Pakistan. However, according to students, there is no need for such an exam because they’ve already had their professional exams annually. It has been more than a year since the exam was announced and the protest against NLE is still happening!

Despite many protests, PMC didn’t consider the demand of young doctors. Hence, the exam was scheduled to take place from 20th to 27th August 2021. The doctors were protesting against the NLE exam on a national level. Matters escalated when police baton-charged the doctors when they tried to enter the test centres. Due to unfortunate circumstances, PMC cancelled the exam. However, they rescheduled the cancelled exam for Sunday, 29th August 2021 and also delayed the results.

The hashtag “Protest Against NLE” is trending on Twitter. Everybody including politicians is condemning the use of violence against the people of one of the noblest professions. Shahbaz condemned the use of violence against the creme of the nation while mentioning,

“The use of batons and tear gas on doctors is regrettable,”

Shahbaz Sharif
  • protest against NLE
  • protest against NLE
  • protest against NLE

Earlier in the morning, the test was to take place. The young doctors including house officers also participated in the protest against NLE outside the Sapphire Hall in Lahore’s Barkat Market. Reports claim that police personnel have besieged the area. Moreover, they also used chemical spray on doctors to disperse them.

What is NLE?

NLE-The National Licensing Exam is recently introduced by Pakistan Medical Commission for the first time in the history of Pakistan. To get permanent registration by PMC, a student must pass this exam. This rule has the recent graduates in shock. Back in 2020, it was announced in the Pakistan Medical Commission Act 2020. On page 17, it is written,

PMC recently provided the students with a syllabus for the exam. Further, they’ve initiated the enrolling procedure for the NLE STEP 1. The NLE would take place twice a year. No graduate would qualify for a house job without clearing NLE. The passing percentage is 70%. However, students are not happy with this happening. The medicos from around the country are united and stand against this new policy.

Why is the Protest Against NLE Taking Place?

You must be wondering why students against the new exam are? According to them, PMC introduced it in March 2020. Therefore, it has no legal right to implement the policies on the batches which were registered under PM&DC. So, the students up to batch 2024 must be excluded from the policy. They consider it a Draconian law. Since the registration started, many students nationwide participated in protests.

There are already existing medical licensing exams taking place internationally. One of the examples is the UKMLA. It is a two-step licensing exam. It will take place in 2024 for the first time. However, the students were already aware of the exam when the suggestion became a policy in 2017. This will occur six years after the decision. On the contrary, PMC is conducting exams from the batches that were not aware of it even a year before.

Is NLE the same as USMLE/UKMLA?

According to Dr. Zafar Mirza, NLE is the best mode of filtration students can go through to become competent in the field of medicine. He further said that such types of exams are taking place as USMLE and PLAB. Therefore, the students responded to this point by saying that they go through five professional rounds in their MBBS journey. However, in the USA, no professional exams occur. Students pass USMLE in three steps during their MBBS. Only step 3 takes place at the end of the house job.

The comparison of NLE with USMLE and PLAB is baseless. Moreover, there is already a lack of major facilities for young doctors in Pakistan. The student also pointed the lack of facilities in NMDCAT 2020. The previous year’s admission test was a big failure as PMC was unable to ensure the safety of the exams. There were also many ambiguities in the syllabus. Since the beginning, students are worried about their future with PMC.

In the era of pandemics, doctors are the pride of a nation. They put their own lives in danger to serve the public. However, in Pakistan government is fighting with doctors. Unfortunately, this is the reason why majority of skilled doctors move abroad for practice. Pakistan Medical Association has douted the calibre of its own universities while making NLE mandatory. Government must look into this matter and should refrain from using such vicious tactics against the medics.

Also read “NMDCAT 2021 | Students are worried about their fate!”

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2 thoughts on "Protest Against NLE leaves 40 doctors injured!"

  • Fahad khan Reply


    June 16, 2021 at 12:52 pm

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