Med students, from universities in Ukraine and Philippines, not happy with rules on course duration, allotment set by NMC

Abhishek NairUpdated: Wednesday, May 25, 2022, 04:12 PM IST
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IANS

Medical students, who are pursuing education in countries such as the Philippines and Ukraine, are not happy with the guidelines set by the National Medical Commission regarding the continuation of their education.

Indian students, for example, who are pursuing their BS in Biology and MD from the Philippines have lamented the NMC’s Foreign Medical Graduate Licentiate Regulation 2021, which mandates students pursuing MBBS to go through the course for 54 months.

Though the Philippines fulfils NMC’s requirement of English as a medium of instruction, it falls short of the required duration as the Southeast Asian country offers medical education in two parts- an 18-24 month-long BS biology course and a 48-month long Doctor of Medicine course. The NMC had said in a notification that it will not recognise the BS Biology or Bridge course for two years.

“The duration of our MD course might be till 18-24 months but our classes are for longer hours. Sometimes our classes start from 7 in the morning which can last up to 8-9 PM in the night compared to 9-5 lectures in India. They are trying to stop many of us, who didn’t get admission in Indian colleges, from leaving for cheaper countries like the Philippines which is also a form of harassment,” said Kaustav Bhattamishra, a final year MD student at the University of Philippines, who stated that many students also protested against the issues faced by them with regards to the rules but NMC officials didn’t pay enough attention to the same.

Anuj Mishra, who is also an MBBS-MD student from the Philippines, said that while many like him who took admission before November 18, 2021, are exempted from the problems stemming from NMC’s regulation the future of many of his friends lies in uncertainty.

“Many students are asking NMC to reconsider their decision on the BS-Biology course on Twitter and other social media platforms. We are also trying to arrange legal and political help to put our issues in the limelight. Thousands of students are deeply concerned about their future,” added Anuj.

Elsewhere, students who have returned from the war-hit country of Ukraine are miffed at NMC’s delay in providing them with an option of enrolling in Indian colleges or universities.

“It’s not our fault that we had to leave the country in the event of a war. I would rather prefer to study in an Indian college due to safety concerns I might have in Ukraine. We left Ukraine amid severe circumstances and it’s not fair that we will have to continue with online learning for a lifetime,” said Tushar, a student from Ukraine’s Zaporizhzhya University.

Firoz Ahmed, another student from Odessa University in Ukraine, said that if not admissions, students should receive some form of concession on their pending dues to colleges which have become quite a task to pay off considering the restrictions they have to deal with now.

Dr. Nirgude, a Counsellor who deals with Indian students who want to take admissions to Bukovinian State Medical University, also expressed concern at NMC’s rules regarding Indian students who pursue medical education abroad. “The Commission, which earlier used to be the Medical Council of India, has taken decisions which don't really come under its ambit. Unfortunately, students whose families are paying lakhs of rupees to secure their child’s future have to worry about the money they have spent which might go to waste if the authorities consider their degrees invalid.

The West Bengal government, which recently decided to allot medical seats to students who have returned from Ukraine also came under criticism from NMC as the guidelines require Foreign Medical Graduates to complete their practical education, theory, and a yearlong internship at the same college they take admission in.

The Supreme Court recently asked NMC to arrange a policy to allow MBBS students complete their clinical training in India, according to a report by PTI.

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