NMC seeks Health Ministry's view over SC direction to help MBBS students hit by Ukraine crisis, pandemic
The Union Health Ministry is likely to hold a meeting this week after the NMC sought its views over the Supreme Court's direction to frame a scheme allowing MBBS students of foreign universities affected by the Ukraine crisis and the pandemic and complete clinical training in medical colleges in India.
The apex court had on April 29 directed the National Medical Commission (NMC) to frame the scheme in two months.
Before that, the External Affairs Ministry had written to the Health Ministry to consider allowing Indian private medical institutes to enroll students, facing such compelling circumstances beyond their control, and continue their medical degree programmes as a one-time exception.
The letter mentioned that due to the war in Ukraine, over 18,000 Indian students in different years of medical programmes there, have returned to India under Operation Ganga.
According to an official source, there are no norms under the National Medical Commission Regulations to accommodate Indian students pursuing medical courses abroad who had to return home midway, in medical colleges here between an academic session.
In March, the regulatory body said foreign medical graduates with incomplete internships due to situations beyond their control like COVID-19 or war can finish the same in India.
In a circular, the NMC said the same may be processed by the state medical councils, provided the candidates have cleared the Foreign Medical Graduate Examination before applying for completion of internship in India.
On May 6, the NMC wrote to the Union Health Ministry saying the apex court has directed the regulatory body to frame a scheme within two months, with effect from April 29, to allow respondents and similarly situated students to complete clinical training in Indian medical colleges on such charges which NMC may determine.
It also directed the commission to further analyse or test the candidate in such a scheme to satisfy that such a candidate is sufficiently trained to obtain provisional registration to complete an internship of 12 months.
The NMC's letter mentioned that it was pointed out to the apex court that many of the medical students who have returned from Ukraine would be in different semesters.
But the court was of the view that the scheme should incorporate necessary provisions for students who have returned from Ukraine, it stated.
“It is made clear that the National Medical Commission after the implementation of the NEET, does not maintain the list/data pertaining to Indian citizens seeking/pursuing the medical qualification(s) in any foreign medical institutes.”
"Taking into consideration the order dated April 29 passed by the Supreme Court, the Ministry of Health is requested to kindly offer its views/comments on the issue of providing clinical training to foreign medical graduates in India," the NMC Secretary said.