ISLAMABAD: Police resorted baton charge and fired tear gas shells, on Tuesday at young doctors, after the medics tried to enter the Pakistan Medical Commission (PMC) during a protest demonstration against National Licensing Exam (NLE).

Hundreds of young doctors from across the country gathered outside the PMC to register their protest against the government decision to make NLE for registration on the call of Medical Student Organization (MSO).

The doctors were of the view that the NLE exam will put an additional burden on them. The protesting doctors also demanded that National Medical and Dental College Admission Test (MDCAT) should be taken by the University of Health Sciences (UHS) instead of the PMC.

During the protest, some doctors attempted to enter the PMC building and when police tried to stop them they pelted stones at the police personnel. Then the police baton charged and fired tear gas on the doctors as a result several police personnel and doctors were injured.

Police also took some doctors into their custody.

The protesters also blocked the road which caused a traffic jam.

The doctors and the police clashed at the protest venue.

According to the Young Doctors Association (YDA), the police detained around 20 doctors and dispersed the remaining through baton charge and tear gas shelling. The YDA then called an emergency meeting at the Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (Pims) chaired by its president Dr Haider Abbasi, in which the association issued an ultimatum to the government to order the release of the arrested doctors. They threatened to go on a countrywide strike, if the police kept the doctors under detention.

The PMC has made it mandatory for all the graduates who are currently doing a house job or are ready for it to clear the NLE exam for their permanent registration. Both MBBS and BDS students must have to clear the NLE for a permanent job and to practice medicine in Pakistan.

According to a statement issued by the city police, Islamabad police showed maximum restraint to avoid clash during the protest and tried to avoid damage to government property by the protestors.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021

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