As India faces an alarming rise in COVID-19 cases with more than three lakh being reported daily, more than 70,000 Foreign Medical Graduates (FMGs) look forward to getting themselves enrolled in internships amid the crisis.
The National Medical Council (NMC) has released a new draft of regulations for FMGs stating that no license will be allowed to obtain till they fulfill the eligibility criteria.
“A person intending to practice in India after obtaining primary medical qualifications has to qualify the Foreign Medical Graduate Examination (FMGE) until the National Exit Test (NExT) becomes operational,” The draft read, also inviting comments.
Already over 4,000 suggestions were sent by the Indian Foreign Medical Students Welfare MCI Gurukul Trust.
It has been requested to keep NEXT 1 and NEXT 2 same for foreign medical graduates (FMGs) like Indian Medical Graduates.
However, on April 15, Indian Foreign Medical Students (IFMS) Welfare MCI Gurukul Trust in their letter addressed to Prime Minister, Health Minister, Chief Ministers, requested to provide one-time relaxation to all FMGs by reducing the passing percentage to 30 per cent to curtail the shortage of MBBS doctors.
The issue was also raised in Parliament session in March by Bharatiya Janata Party MP from Arunachal Pradesh Tapir Gao.
An FMG Ayush Vaishnav, Osh State University, Kyrgyzstan told ANI, “The World Health Organisation guidelines recommend that there should be one doctor for every 1000 people. But India’s ratio is 1 to every 1456. If the government does not want to support us then why they are allowing us to study abroad for medical education? We want to serve our nation during this pandemic.”
Dr Bhupendra Armaan Chourasiya, President, Indian Foreign Medical students Welfare MCI Gurukul Trust said, “If the government of India reduces the passing percentage to 30 per cent for last few years, India will get over 50,000 MBBS doctors in one day who will work free for a year as interns.”
According to the data from the National Board of Examination (NBE) that conducts the Foreign Medical Graduate Exam (FMGE) for students with MBBS (US, UK, Australia, Canada and New Zealand are exempted), in the previous sessions not more than 15 per cent students qualified Medical Council of India (MCI) examination.
With limited seats, overflowing aspirants and charges at private medical colleges, medical students have moved abroad for studies.
An approx figure by Indian Foreign Medical Students Welfare MCI Gurukul Trust shows that over 70,000 are passouts and waiting for clearance while around 40,000 are studying.
Two more letters were written to the government in August and December last year. The next clearance examination is scheduled for June 18.
India reported 3,60,960 new COVID-19 cases, 3,293 deaths and 2,61,162 discharges in the last 24 hours.