Foreign Medical Graduates stage protest in Tamil Nadu after No from Medical Council for MBBS Internship
Chennai: Objecting to the Tamil Nadu Medical Council's decision of not allowing the Foreign Medical Graduates from China to complete their MBBS internship in the State, few medicos belonging to the 2015 batch, recently staged a protest in Chennai.
Although the Madras HC had directed the medical council to allow the FMGs complete their internship in local hospitals, the Council still hasn't given permission to the medicos who stayed in India after the Covid-19 pandemic and appeared for their last semester online, adds the Federal.
Meanwhile, the president of the TNMC, Dr K Senthil has clarified that the Council is unable to allow these students complete their internship in the State as they had appeared for their final exams online and there is no way knowing if they had cheated or not.
These students were stuck in India after the COVID-19 outbreak as the travel restrictions didn't allow them to go back to China and after writing their final semester online, they were advised by their institutes in China to complete their internships in the Tamil Nadu hospitals.
In order to get enrolled for the Compulsory Rotatory Residential Internship (CRRI) in Tamil Nadu, the students are required to first register with the TNMC. However, the State Medical Council clarified that they were not eligible to the registration as they had appeared for their final semester online.
Earlier when the students had approached the Madras HC, it had reportedly directed the medical council on September 20 for allowing the students to complete their internship in the local hospitals and had suggested a middle way by making the students undergo internship for 14 months instead of 12 months as a compensation for their online education.
However, as the state medical council is still not ready to allow these students for internship in the state, such Foreign Medical Graduates staged a protest in Chennai on Tuesday, adds The Federal.
While commenting on the matter, one such student who has graduated from China, told The Federal, "The medical council asks us to return to China and complete our studies (meaning to repeat the semester). The other state students from our batch could enrol for internships in their respective states, but we are still unable to register ourselves here."
"Even if we go to other states to complete our CRRI, the Tamil Nadu Medical Council has told us that it is not going to allow us to practise medicine in the state because we wrote the last semester exams online," he added.
"Some of the students who stayed back in China and wrote their exams online were allowed to do CRRI in Tamil Nadu. In this case, the medical council has taken the passport entry and exit duration into account," he further said.
Further referring to the Madras HC order regarding the issue, another student told the daily, "Despite the order, the medical council is refusing to give us permission to take up the internship. It is not responding to our queries on whether it is going for an appeal or not. We even passed Foreign Medical Graduate Examination but now we are at a dead-end."
Dr. Devan Kumarguru, the Secretary of the FMG Wing of Tamil Nadu Medical Student's Association, told Medical Dialogues, "The issue is going on from long back and until now, there is no solution. Depending on the country, the MBBS course duration is different too. However, the TNMC has specified that a student needs to study in the offline board for a certain period of time. However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, several students were forced to come back to India and they couldn't go back and continue education in offline. Further, the students studying outside get permission for a certain period of time only to complete their studies and after that, they are not allowed to study in those countries anymore. So, we had requested the council to increase our internship time period to compensate for the education that the students had received via online medium. However, the State is not ready to accept this and they are asking the students to go back and complete their education in the offline board, which is practically not possible as the students will not get the same visas and permissions anymore."
Meanwhile, the State Medical Council has clarified that it is unable to permit these students as they appeared in the last semester online and there is no way to know if they had cheated or not.
Speaking to the daily regarding the issue, Dr. K Senthil, the President of TNMC said, "For argument sake, they may claim that their friends and fellow students who stayed back in China too have written the exams online. But we cannot verify it because we haven't received any information about it from any of the institutions in China. These students are staying in India for the last 21 months and we don't know if the institutes in China are still conducting online classes."
Mentioning that the Council has spoken to the Indian students who stayed back in China Dr Senthil added, "They said they wrote the exams in the offline mode. Albeit we are unable to cross-check the claim. Since they stayed back in that country, we guess they could have written the exams offline."
He further pointed out that in India too, the MBBS students had attended classes online and when the situation improved, they had attended the physical classes for five months before getting their degrees.
Clarifying that the State Medical Council will only follow the norms set by the National Medical Commission (NMC), he further added, "The students instead of fighting with us for doing internship here should have asked our governments to help them return to China and complete their studies. But they are trying to get through the backdoor using this as an opportunity."