Majority of MBBS and BDS graduates unfit to practice medicine

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About 58% of the doctors who obtained MBBS and BDS degrees and sat for the Nepal Medical Council Licensure Examinations failed to pass the pass mark.

The council is the national regulatory body for doctors and dentists.

“Those who don’t get the passing grades cannot practice medicine,” said Dr Krishna Prasad Adhikary, Registrar at the Council. “They can’t see patients unless they pass the licensing test.”

Of the total 2,039 doctors – 1,686 MBBS holders and 353 BDS degree holders – who took part in the licensing tests held between Thursday and Saturday, only 863 (740 MBBS doctors and 123 BDS doctors) passed. passing grades. Over 65% of BDS doctors, potential dentists, failed the licensing test.

This is not the first time that so many doctors have failed to achieve minimum passing scores and failed to practice medicine in the country. Board officials said up to 70 per cent of doctors would not get passing scores on licensing tests in the past. The pass rate of doctors who got medical degrees from foreign universities used to be low compared to those who passed out from domestic universities.

The board said it would not release the identity and other details of the nominees.

Experts, as well as academics long involved in medical practice, have warned that licensing exams are not just about obtaining a certificate to practice medicine, but are largely tied to the quality of healthcare in the country.

“It has a direct link to human health and around two-thirds of doctors who fail the licensing test means the problem is arguably bigger than the Covid pandemic,” said Professor Jagdish Prasad Agrawal, former dean of the Institute of Medicine at Tribhuvan University. “The quality of doctors has gone down and the whole population has to deal with the consequences.”

To qualify as a doctor, a doctor must score at least 50 percent on the licensing exam. Agrawal said that even if engineering graduates were allowed to take the medical licensing test, they would get marks of 30-40%.

Experts say the quality of medical education has been compromised with underachieving students, who do not deserve to practice medicine, entering the medical profession.

“It’s a good thing that those who are incompetent, who don’t have the basic knowledge of medicine, failed the license test,” said Professor Arjun Karki, former vice-chancellor of the Academy of Sciences. of Patan’s health. “If these people could pass the test, our public health could be at risk.”

The World Health Organization has stated that inaccurate diagnoses, medical errors, inappropriate or unnecessary treatment, inadequate or unsafe clinical facilities and practices, and healthcare providers who lack adequate training and expertise are present in all countries.

But the situation is worse in low- and middle-income countries.

Doctors say it would be unwise not to start looking into the cause of the higher failure rate in medical licensing tests: potentially the health of 29 million Nepalese is at stake.

A large number of candidates cannot pass the test even after taking the exams several times. According to the council, a doctor failed 34 licensing tests.

The WHO, the United Nations health agency, says poor quality health care is increasing the burden of disease and healthcare costs around the world.

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