The National Medical Commission relaxed its rules for a year, allowing foreign medical graduates who passed their screening test to train in non-teaching hospitals. Internships will be allowed at 679 designated hospitals across the state through May next year. The relaxation was announced in light of the fact that some students – particularly those who completed their training from China and Ukraine last year – had to undertake a two-year internship to fill gaps in their practical learning that were hampered by the pandemic and war.

The National Medical Commission on Wednesday issued a clarification stating that recognized non-teaching hospitals will be allowed to offer internships to foreign medical graduates until May 2024. “This relaxation is being granted as a one-time measure only. The allocation of FMG goods in these non-teaching hospitals will be made Through the concerned government medical boards.

The circular issued clarifications for several issues that hinder the allocation of training periods for thousands of foreign medical graduates.

The ‘clarification’ issued by the National Medical Commission on Wednesday states that the two-year training will be applicable only to candidates who returned to India during their final year and completed their education online due to the Covid-19 pandemic or the Russia-Ukraine war.

The illustration states that students who need to do a two-year internship can choose to do the second year of internship from a different college or state.

With the institutes also holding seats due to the lack of budgetary provisions for paying the salaries of foreign graduates, the NMC also clarified that the implementation of the stipend would be at the “discretion of the authorities of the respective country under which the medical college/institute is located.”

In an effort to formalize compulsory one-year training — without which foreign graduates cannot obtain a permanent license to practice in the country — the main medical education regulator last year mandated students only train at medical school hospitals. Hospitals have been asked to ensure that 7.5% of training seats are awarded to foreign graduates, with those selected being paid on an equal footing with Indian trainees.

Although well-intentioned, this move led to a sharp decrease in the number of seats available for internships for foreign medical graduates. Training seats are released only once a year while the screening test for foreign graduates happens twice which leads to long waiting times for some. This, coupled with the fact that many have to apply for the second year of their internships and a higher pass rate during the current round of examination, has resulted in a huge backlog during placements this year.

Take, for example, Delhi, where more than 2,000 applications came after the January exam, but only 42 students managed to get the training. Furthermore, 31 of the students who were assigned a coaching seat by the state medical board were rejected by the hospital.

A 26-year-old female student who completed her education from Russia last June and passed the screening test in January said, “Before the NMC revised the guidelines last year, foreign medical graduates who passed the screening test could apply for provisional certification from the State Medical Council and apply. For jobs in any hospital.Most hospitals did not pay foreign graduates, but since the training was necessary to obtain permanent enrolment, most of them pass.Now, the screening test scores are used by state boards to prepare a merit list, essentially making it a competitive examination.It happens This is because the number of exercises has become limited.

The student added, “I have completed my education, I have cleared the FMG screening test which most don’t, and I have enough marks to make the merit list. I have jumped through all the hoops but still don’t have an internship.”

Another 25-year-old student who also graduated from Russia last June said, “I am from Delhi and since I scored more than 200 points in my screening test I was confident that I would get an internship here. So, I have not applied in any country Now, there are almost no seats left in Delhi because several hospitals said they had given seats to students who passed the exam in mid-2022. They said their quota of 7.5% has been exhausted. This problem is causing huge backlogs of students.”

Students also said that the problem has been exacerbated because more people have passed the current exam than usual numbers – around 9-10 thousand instead of the normally 2-4 thousand.

An official from Delhi added, “We faced difficulties because internships were not offered to the students, but none of the medical colleges gave seats, mainly because now they have to pay salaries to the interns.”

Although the detailed “clarification” from the National Medical Commission that came on Wednesday fixed the problem for the time being, the problem is likely to persist. The official said, “The training periods must now be allocated during the month because even if you enter the month of June by one day, the students will not be able to complete the one-year period, as it was only allowed to relax until the next May. A year. In addition, there will be another set of Students who will pass the exam in June, where will we accommodate them?”

The official added that NMC did not say how many seats would be available in these non-educational institutes for training.


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