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NMC permits overseas medical graduates to complete their internship in India

by Pragati Singh

The National Medical Commission (NMC) on Friday authorised foreign medical graduates (FMGs) who have returned to India from Ukraine to continue their internship or practical training at Indian medical institutes, despite fears over their destiny.

NMC noted that foreign medical graduates who did not come under NMC’s Foreign Medical Graduate Licentiate Regulations were regulated by regulations of the previous Indian Medical Council Act 1956, allowing FMGs to complete their internship in India. If they had not received any practical training in the foreign countries where they were studying, the requirements of sub-section (3) of section 13 of the IMC Act compelled such FMGs to perform an internship in India.

However, the NMC has officially recognised the impact of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on FMGs’ future prospects, particularly in terms of unfinished internships or practical medical training.

“It has also been discovered that some FMGs had incomplete internships as a result of compelling circumstances beyond their control, such as the Covid-19 epidemic and war. Given the anguish and hardship endured by these FMGs, their application to complete the remaining portion of their internship in India is approved “The NMC circular was read out loud.

Following the promulgation of the NMC’s Foreign Medical Graduates Licentiate Regulations 2021 and Compulsory Rotatory Medical Internship Regulations 2021, the commission noted that FMGs were having difficulty registering with several state medical boards.

The provisions were no longer applicable to FMGs who obtained a foreign medical degree or primary qualification before November 18, 2021, candidates who enrolled in undergraduate medical education in foreign colleges before November 18, 2021, and those who were specifically exempted by the union government, according to the Friday circular.

The National Medical Council has now instructed state medical councils to complete these applicants’ internships if they have passed the international medical graduate test (FMGE). The NMC has also directed state councils to ensure that medical colleges do not charge FMGs a fee for allowing them to do their internship, and that the stipend and other benefits provided to these candidates are comparable to those provided to Indian counterparts trained at government medical colleges.

The NMC also established rules for state medical boards to follow when enabling FMGs to participate in internships, such as checking that the latter’s medical qualification or degree is registerable to practise in the foreign nation where the degree was obtained.

Other instructions to state medical councils included limiting internship time to either 12 months or a balance period, and limiting the maximum quota for internship distribution to FMGs to an extra 7.5 percent of total permissible seats in a medical college.

Meanwhile, the Indian Medical Association (IMA) has recommended that all evacuated medical students who are Indian citizens be “adjusted as a one-time measure in existing medical schools” in India for the remainder of their MBBS course in a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi on behalf of FMGs who returned to India from Ukraine.

According to the Indian Medical Association, such a one-time adjustment should not be interpreted as a rise in yearly admission capacity among these Indian medical institutions.

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