Published: 28th August 2023
Philippines-returned medical students from 2019-21 batches ask for exemption from NMC’s 2021 gazette
The parents gathered and staged a demonstration demanding the exemption from the National Medical Commission's (NMC) gazette for the students of the 2019, 2020, and 2021 batches
A group of parents in Mehsana district, Gujarat, whose students studied medicine in the Philippines, have demanded a grant of their children’s permanent registration without the 12-month internship under the Compulsory Rotatory Medical Internship (CRMI) Regulations, 2021. Regarding the same, the parents gathered and staged a demonstration demanding the exemption from the National Medical Commission's (NMC) gazette for the students of the 2019, 2020, and 2021 batches and also for those who took admission before August 18, 2021.
Speaking on this, Ketan Bhai Patel, one of the protestors, said, "I would like to appeal to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Home Minister Amit Shah and also to Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya to exempt the students enrolled before the NMC's 2021," as stated in a report by ANI.
Lookback into the past
The NMC enacted the new Foreign Medical Graduate Licentiate Regulations 2021 norms on November 18, 2021, amending earlier regulations. These norms require students to complete a course of a minimum duration of 54 months, an internship of a minimum of 12 months in the same foreign medical institution and mandatory registration as medical practitioners in the country the student has obtained his or her degree.
Now, the parents have demanded an exemption from the gazette. The new NMC norms also mandate foreign institutions to have English as a medium of instruction and follow the curriculum as prescribed by the NMC in India. Further, these students are expected to complete an additional internship of a minimum of 12 months in India.
Medical education in the Philippines includes a two-year BS Biology pre-medicine curriculum which is a pre-requisite for the remaining four years of medicine course. The subjects taught in the two years of pre-medicine studies are not considered a part of the student’s medical training under NMC’s new norms that prescribe a minimum of over 5.5 years or 54 months of medical course for students, as stated in a report by ANI.
To recall, the NMC, in a notification, on July 18, 2022, mentioned a one-time relaxation to foreign medical graduates who had completed their course from their institutes through online mode but had not physically attended clinical training due to the extraordinary situation brought by the COVID-19 pandemic, Russian-Ukraine war and so on.
The students would be permitted to write the Foreign Medical Graduate Examination (FMGE) qualifying which will allow them to undergo compulsory rotating medical internship (CRMI) – for two years. The affidavit mentioned the Russian Federation’s willingness to allow Indian students evacuated from Ukraine to continue their medical education in the Russian Federation. A similar offer has been made by the Republic of Kazakhstan. However, none of these relief measures would be applicable to the student community studying in the Philippines since the NMC does not consider their course valid.
Hence, the parents of these students have demanded for grant of their children’s permanent registration without asking for a 12-month internship under the Compulsory Rotatory Medical Internship (CRMI) Regulations, 2021.