THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The NEXT proposal by the union government comes at a time when the eligibility test for foreign students completing their MBBS course is reported to soon be cancelled. The proposal reports TOI, has been meeting with strong disapproval from many in the medical community. Interestingly, the new proposal categorically states that foreign students with MBBS degrees from abroad seeking provisional or permanent registration do not have to qualify a screening test.
“It is a paradox that the Union health ministry and Niti Aayog are exempting foreign medical graduates, who seldom see patients. They can practice any where in the country without any quality checks,” said Dr N Sulphi, Kerala State Secretary elect of Indian Medical Association.
Presently about 3,000 to 4,000 foreign-educated MBBS graduates come to India each year. When passing the eligibility test to become registered medical practitioners was mandatory, the pass percentage was a mere 15 percent, said Dr. Mohanan. “Now, this quality check has been stopped at a time when the graduates from countries like China, Russia, Ukraine, Philippines and African countries are passing out without seeing any patient,” he added.
Dr P S Jinesh, a health activist being critical of the government stance on foreign students said that he was surprised that the government was imposing quality checks on doctors who are passing out from government medical colleges with high standards, while foreign students passing out of foreign universities without any patient care expertise were being let off without checks.
Travancore Cochin Medical Council, differing from the governments stance on foreign students stated, “They have to undergo strict housesurgency for a year in the government sector before they get their registration. It is perhaps the best quality check we are making for foreign graduates. At least, we are ensuring that they are seeing patients,” said Dr Mohanan.