Guidelines barring disabled students from studying MBBS unfair, says disability rights group to Health Minister
In a strongly worded letter to Union Health Minister J P Nadda, top disability rights group National Platform for the Rights of the Disabled (NPRD) has challenged the guidelines of the Medical Council of India (MCI).
Calling them arbitrary and blatantly discriminatory, the NPRD has asked Nadda to revise the guidelines that keep out students with disabilities.
The NPRD says that the MCI's process of framing guidelines leaves out doctors with disabilities and organisations representing disabled people.
These guidelines are arbitrary and blatantly discriminatory in nature. Certain pre-conceived notions and prejudices are patently visible. They have been drafted without proper application of mind, oblivious of the best practices worldwide and divorced from the reality that advances in science and technology have become great enablers - National Platform for the Rights of the Disabled
The NPRD has also alleged that a psychiatrist from the All India Institutes of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) framed the guidelines for dyslexia. Experts like pediatricians, psychologists and neurologists, who usually see dyslexic candidates, were not involved.
In the letter, the NPRD pointed out that in a training held in 2017 for doctors on the new scales to assess autism, it was doctors from the pediatrics department of the AIIMS who were involved and not psychiatrists.
The letter referred to well known oncologist Dr Suresh Advani, who uses a wheelchair, as an example to cite how unfair and arbitrary the new MCI guidelines are.
These unapproved MCI guidelines also declare ineligible, candidates with locomotor disabilities, whose percentage is 80% or higher. Suffice it to cite the example of Dr Suresh Advani, a hemato-oncologist, a wheelchair user with 80 per cent disability. Dr Advani, as per the MCI guidelines is not fit to become a doctor - National Platform for the Rights of the Disabled