MBBS in China: NMC warns Aspirants of Travel Restrictions, reminds of FMG Regulations
New Delhi: In a significant move, the Administration Section of the National Medical Commission (NMC) has urged medical aspirants to be careful while applying for MBBS admission in the medical universities in China. Referring to the travel restrictions imposed by the China Government and fate of numerous international medical students who are stuck at home due to visa troubles, NMC,...
New Delhi: In a significant move, the Administration Section of the National Medical Commission (NMC) has urged medical aspirants to be careful while applying for MBBS admission in the medical universities in China.
Referring to the travel restrictions imposed by the China Government and fate of numerous international medical students who are stuck at home due to visa troubles, NMC, the apex medical body in India has reminded the students that medical courses done only by online mode are not recognized by the medical regulator.
"It has come to the notice of Ministry of External Affairs, Govt. of India that few Universities in People's Republic of China have started issuing notices for admission to MBBS programmes for the current and upcoming academic years," NMC mentioned in the notification dated February 8, 2022.
"In this context, any prospective students needs to be aware that the Government of People's Republic of China has imposed strict travel restrictions in the wake of COVID-19 and suspended all visas since November 2020. A large number of international students including Indian students have not been able to return to China to continue their studies due to these restrictions. Thus far, there has been no relaxation in the restrictions. Further, the Chinese authorities have conveyed earlier that courses will be conducted online," explained NMC.
Medical Dialogues had earlier reported that thousands of students were stuck at their homes for more than one year after the Covid-19 outbreak and they were unable to go back to their parent institutes in China as the Government in there had officially announced that foreign students and teachers would not return to their colleges until further notice.
Although students were desperate to go back and they sought the intervention of authorities including the Ministry of External Affairs, United Nations (UN), nothing has happened yet to solve the problems of these students.
Meanwhile, NMC has denied recognizing the online studies of those students and the apex medical regulator also clarified that those students would not be allowed to attend the eligibility test in India as well.
NMC in the recent notice has referred to the same crisis which has resulted in absolute uncertainty regarding the careers of thousands of medical students.
Thus, warning the students of the consequences and also reminding them of the rules, the notification further mentioned, "As per the extant rules, National Medical Commission does not recognize or approve medical courses done only by online mode."
Not only this, but the NMC notice has also referred to the recent FMGE Regulations as well. The Foreign Medical Graduate Licentiate Regulations 2021 were notified last year in November changing the dynamics for foreign medical education.
Medical Dialogues had earlier reported that these Regulations brought many changes, which might make foreign medical education less lucrative. The regulations clearly mentioned that after acquiring their medical degree, the foreign medical graduates in future will have to clear the NeXT exam and also undergo additional internship in India, apart from pursuing internship in their own instiutitions at the foreign country where they have studied.
On the issue of Grant of permanent registration to Foreign Medical Graduate, regulation 4 stated that No foreign medical graduate shall be granted permanent registration unless he has–
"(a) (i) undergone a course leading to foreign medical degree with minimum duration of fifty-four months".
This was one of the many conditions that the candidates need to fulfill for getting a permanent registration. It had been speculated earlier that this move would spell out doom for many foreign institutions and countries where the course duration is less than 54 months or 4 1/2 years as well as many of the foreign medical colleges that have teaching facilities but not training facilities.
It should be noted in this context that NMC in its 2021 regulations had clearly mentioned that the regulations would not be applicable to foreign medical graduates who have acquired a foreign medical degree or primary qualification prior to the coming into force of these regulations or to those candidates who are pursuing their education in foreign institutions prior to the coming into force of these regulations or to those who are specifically exempted by the Commission or the Central Government. For those who are currently pursuing their foreign medical education would be governed by erstwhile regulations.
In the same tune, the recent warning by NMC has been issued when the foreign universities are opening their doors for the Indian medical aspirants. Referring to the recent FMGE Regulations which might completely nullify the foreign medical degrees if the course duration is shorter than required, NMC mentioned in the recent notice, "Also, students are advised to refer to FMGE Regulations before applying or planning to seek admission in any instructions in China/Foreign institutions. In view of the above, students are advised to exercise due diligence in choosing where to pursue medical education from."
Clearly, this new notification by NMC should be read in continuation with the FMGE Regulations of 2021. Besides, the members of the UG Medical Board of NMC while expressing their opinions regarding foreign medical education had also opined that MBBS abroad may not be a suitable option for lower and middle-class Indians.
Such an opinion had been expressed in a recent paper penned down by the UGMEB members. The paper titled "Seeking graduation in medical colleges outside India: Is it a 'win–win situation or 'lose-lose situation' for the stakeholders and the nation? " written by the President of UG Medical Education Board of NMC, Dr. Aruna V Vanikar and three other members of the UGMEB has been published in The National Medical Journal of India.
"Seeking graduation in medical colleges outside India may not be advisable for those from the middle/ low-income group of India," the authors had noted in their article after thoroughly discussing the problems associated with medical education abroad.
To view the official Notice, click on the link below :
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Barsha completed her Master's in English from the University of Burdwan, West Bengal in 2018. Having a knack for Journalism she joined Medical Dialogues back in 2020. She mainly covers news about medico legal cases, NMC/DCI updates, medical education issues including the latest updates about medical and dental colleges in India. She can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.