Oppn protest in Ker assembly over medical fees hike

Thiruvananthapuram: Congress-led UDF opposition in Kerala today staged a walkout in the Assembly alleging that the LDF government had “surrendered” before the private self-financing medical college managements by agreeing to “hike” fees for PG courses.

The opposition members trooped to the well of the House and raised slogans demanding a discussion on the fees structure leading to the adjournment of the House for sometime.

Replying to the notice for an adjournment motion over the issue, state Health minister K K Shylaja refuted opposition charges, saying fees for PG courses was fixed by the Fees Regulatory Committee, taking into consideration various guidelines.

She also said medical colleges run by Christian managements had agreed to the fees structure of Rs 16 lakh for clinical course and Rs 8.50 lakh for non-clinical ones.

“Christian managements have agreed to the unified fee structure fixed by the Fees Regulatory Committee, even though they have demanded a higher fee. It is due to the effective intervention of the state government,” she said.

The government is of the opinion that the other private colleges should also follow suit, she said.

“The LDF government is one which has fought against exploitation by private medical college managements till the end. From the present academic year, admission to all medical seats will be from the NEET list and it will be centralised allotment,” the minister said.

She also said there was no move from the part of the government to hike any fees. The government had done what it could do as per the law in the context of the recent Supreme Court verdict in this regard, the minister added.

However, attacking the government, Opposition leader Ramesh Chennithala alleged that the government had surrendered before the private managements. “Fees for PG courses has been increased three fold which has made medical study inaccessible for students from financially poor background,” he said.

Chennithala also wanted the government to introduce scholarship for students pursuing PG medical courses to ease the financial burden due to the ‘hike’ in fees.

The opposition later staged a walkout after Speaker P Sreeramakrishnan refused leave for the motion.