Not Equivalent to MBBS in India: NMC decision on course in Philippines
New Delhi: In a major setback for Foreign Medical Education in the Philippines, National Medical Commission (NMC) has refused to account for the two-year BS course towards the required minimum duration of a foreign medical course to be considered equivalent to the domestic MBBS course
In doing so, the apex medical regulator NMC clarified that BS and MD courses offered at Phillipines medical colleges are two different things and that since the pattern of BS course being taught prior to the MD course is very much in line with the module of the Class 11th & 12th in India hence, it may not be included in the required MBBS course duration for the countries where the duration is less than 54 months.
The majority of medical colleges in Philippines offer a composite program with first a two-year BS course and thereafter a 4 year MD course (Graduate /Primary Medical Course being equivalent to MBBS). Medical Dialogues had earlier reported that with its official gazette notification that is 18th November 2021 on the issue of (Foreign Medical Graduate Licentiate) Regulations, the NMC had specified that henceforth the minimum duration of the MBBS curriculum outside the country has to be 54 months (4.5 years).
Challenging the new regulations a PIL was filed before the Rajasthan High Court, by an MBBS student who was pursuing her medical education abroad. After taking note of the submissions, the Rajasthan High Court bench comprising of Chief Justice Akil Kureshi and Justice Sameer Jain has issued notice in the matter.
Besides this National Medical Commission also received and considered the representations received from medical students who are pursuing BS Courses in Philippines, prior to publication of Gazette of India i.e. FMGL Regulations 2021, seeking exemption/ special dispensation.
The bone of contention was that while the actual MD course ( Graduate /Primary Medical Course being equivalent to MBBS) was of 4 years that is lesser than the required duration but the students in Phillipines were also asked to go through the BS degree, a 2 year program, which when accounted would mean a total duration fo 6 years which would be above the required norm of 54 months and hence recognizable
What's the NMC verdict?
Analyzing the course structure in detail, NMC gave its decision on the matter, ceiling the fate of medical education in the Philippines. The regulator however noted that this would be valid on only on those who were doing their courses after FMGL Regulations 2021 in the publication of Gazette of India
It is observed that BS and MD course are two separate degrees in Philippines. BS Course cannot be equated/included with MBBS course. Therefore, after the publication of Gazette Notification dated 18.11.2021 i.e. NMC's FMGL Regulations 2021, the students who have already taken admission for any foreign medical qualification/course which is not equivalent to the MBBS Course in India, cannot be treated as eligible qualification for registration to practice medicine in India. Whereas, the students who have taken admission in MD course in Philippines prior to FMGL Regulations 2021 can be considered subject to fulfilling other prevailing eligibility criteria for registration.
"Bridging BS Course is a course for Bachelor of Science for candidates seeking to join courses in field of Science & Research in Philippines. The said course comprises of subjects of Biology similar to Class 11th & 12th in India. BS Course is the pre-medical course in Philippines, after the completion of which the candidates have to appear in the NMAT examination to seek admission in MD Course (Graduate /Primary Medical Course being equivalent to MBBS) which is of 4-year duration. The pattern is BS Course followed by MD Course, however, in the said BS Course, the candidates are not being taught pre-clinical subjects like Anatomy, Biochemistry, Biophysics, Microbiology etc., rather they are being taught subjects like Biology, Psychology etc. which is equivalent to Class 12th in India. Hence, BS Course is a basic degree course prior to the starting of Graduate/Primary Medical Course in reference to Indian Education. The same does not even qualify a candidate to be eligible for admission in the MBBS course in India," the NMC noted
The Graduate Medical Education Regulations, 1997 prescribes that candidates mandatorily must qualify the NEET-UG Examination for becoming eligible for counseling to be considered for admission in MBBS course and that to appear in NEET-UG, it is a pre-condition that the candidates must have studied in the last 2 years of his / her school education (Class 11th and 12th) regular, simultaneous, co-terminus the subjects of Physics, Chemistry and Biology. Thus, a candidate who has already undergone the requisite studies in Class 11th and 12th in India and thereafter qualified the NEET-UG, being the pre-requisite for proceeding to a Foreign Medical Institute, shall not gain any further knowledge by undergoing the BS Course, which seems to be a mandatory course for obtaining admission to the Graduate/Primary Medical Course in the Philippines. The BS Course in the Philippines is a pre-requisite to appear in NMAT for admission in MD Course (Graduate/Primary Medical Course being equivalent to MBBS).
Hence, the duration of the BS Course cannot be counted in the duration of the Graduate/Primary Medical Course in Philippines. Further, the regulations were not made/directed to any particular country but to be universally applicable for all FMGs, with the sole objective of maintaining a standard of education and quality of doctors in India.
"National Medical Commission, being the regulatory authority always endeavors to improve the quality of medical education and health care system in India and provides an equal and fair opportunity for individuals who aspire to study medicine and thereafter practice medicine in India. However, practicing medicine involves the risk of human life, hence the Commission cannot compromise with the high standard and quality of medical education in India," the NMC added
To view the official Notice, Click here : https://medicaldialogues.in/pdf_upload/20220325060804-172943.pdf
Medical Dialogues Bureau consists of a team of passionate medical/scientific writers, led by doctors and healthcare researchers. Our team efforts to bring you updated and timely news about the important happenings of the medical and healthcare sector. Our editorial team can be reached at email@example.com.