The National Medical Commission (NMC) today, Wednesday, November 22, released a public notice addressing several issues related to the Foreign Medical Graduates (FMGs) or Indian students pursuing medical education from foreign countries.
In the recent past, there have been several issues in relation to the FMGs. The public notice addressed points like required internship period for the FMGs, academic mobility programme for students, time limit to qualify FMG exam, validity of medical degree obtained from Philippines and so on.
The clarifications released by the apex medical education regulator have received mixed responses from the medical community. While some of the concerns pertaining to the FMG community have been addressed, a few students are still left in confusion.
FMG transfer allowed for Ukraine students within next three months
“In continuation to the earlier scheme dated 15th September, 2022 namely Academic Mobility Program, NMC has decided to extend such scheme as a one-time measure to the FMGs returning from Ukraine to avail the benefits of said scheme and complete their remaining medical course”, says the notice.
The public notice stated that the option of transfer/migration/mobility shall be available within 3 months from the date of issue of this public notice, i.e, November 22.
Reacting to this development, Deepak Kumar, a 2021-batch student from Ternopil National Medical University, Ukraine, said, “We are very happy that finally NMC has addressed the issue. We have been continuously protesting for six months. We visited NMC, met the Union Health Minister, protested at Jantar Mantar and finally our demands have been addressed. NMC also clarified that we can clear the FMG examination within 10 years of completing our degree which is good news. Many parents and students from different states also supported us in our fight.”
“We also want to thank Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya and Anil Radadiya sir from the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare for cooperating with the students and fulfilling our demands,” the student added.
Philippines FMGs eligibility certificate issue yet to be addressed?
On the other hand, the students currently pursuing their degree from the Philippines say that their concerns have not been resolved in the new public notice released by the NMC.
To recall, the validity of medical degrees of the Indian students pursuing their medical courses in the Philippines has been in question ever since the National Medical Commission (NMC) released the Foreign Medical Graduate Licentiate (FMGL) Regulations 2021.
As per the regulations, the medical degree acquired in the Philippines has become invalid to practise in India. This especially poses risk of employability for students who were already studying in the country before the guidelines were released by the apex body for medical education in India.
“The new guidelines do not add any solution to our problems and are basically repeating the regulations released in 2021. Because of these regulations, students who had taken admission in the Philippines before 2021 are stuck with no options. All the students should be treated equally as we are also Indian citizens. If the NMC has allowed transfers to Ukraine students, they should give us a one-time exemption from these regulations to save our future. This is not our fault as the regulations were released in the middle of our academic course,” said Samunder Singh Rajpurohit, who took admission into a medical college in the Philippines in 2020.
The public notice released on Wednesday states that FMGs who were studying BS Course or had taken admission in Bachelor of Science (BS) Course at the time of publication of FMGL Regulation in 2021 are not not eligible.
“However FMGs having taken admission in MD Course on or before 18.11.2021 are eligible to complete the course and subsequently write FMG Examination in India,” the official notice added.
However, even these FMGs would be required to undergo one year of internship in order to compensate for the deficiency in their training from parent foreign medical college followed by CRMI after obtaining provisional registration, since their course is of 48 months, unlike 54 months MBBS course in India.