Justice for MBBS doctors studied outside India to serve in India

Justice for MBBS doctors studied outside India to serve in India

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Rakesh Mishra started this petition to The Central Government of India and

According to the World Health Organization (WHO) statistics, countries including India have shortage of physician per 1000 population¹. In India and Indian students finishing with MBBS degree abroad are growing every year yet the gap between the huge need of primary care doctor and number of MBBS doctor is not filled so far. The reason being majority of Indian medical college pass outs are involved in either local post graduate examinations or residency abroad for a better income and quality of life outside India. On the other hand, the Indian students studied MBBS abroad are struggling in the “gully” of Gautam Nagar, New Delhi to clear the MCI (medical council of India) screening exam in order to participate in the mainstream MBBS jobs or practice in India. Thousands of foreign studied MBBS doctors are looking for an opportunity to help bridge the gap of supply vs. demand of primary care practitioner in India. As per the MCI act of 2002, MBBS graduates (Indian citizen) from abroad shall clear the screening exam in view of the MCI regulations 2002 mentioned below²:

“the purpose of conducting the screening test shall be only to determine the eligibility or otherwise of a candidate for his or her registration with the medical council of India or any state medical council and qualifying the same shall not confer any other right, whatsoever, on a candidate”.

However, the mode of screening exam is horrendously disorganized with no set syllabus or parameters as reported by the MBBS doctors studied abroad. I myself have noticed the same as I have taken the exam seven times already with no positive results yet. While India needs a large number of MBBS doctors to take care of primary care healthcare needs or public health needs, the complex system of Indian medical licensing authorities have turn their heads away from the situation. The legitimacy of the screening exam was challenged in the Indian courts and sustained by the Supreme Court of India in 2009. The questions have been asked in the parliament multiple times about jettisoning the MCI screening exam/ FMGE with no final answer till now in favor of MBBS doctors studied abroad.

The medical education system in India is based on rejection criteria rather than selection criteria largely due to the overly inflated student population, nevertheless the issues of quality regulation and reported corruption in the examination procedures have been exposed recently leading to the “criminalization of medical education” (Baru and Diwate 2015)³.

According to an NBE (National Board of Examination) insider, the screening exam is kept extremely difficult on purpose as that would satisfy the businesses of many capitation based  medical colleges in the country (Banerjee 2015, The Telegraph 2015)³. Also, in the recent examination held on December 2018, the pass percentage was around 10% whereas plenty of results were withheld, surprisingly after a month or so the withheld pass percentage jumped to more than 30%. Was there some kind of setting going on during the withheld days?

There are multiple stories published in various newspapers every now and then regarding poor condition of foreign pass out MBBS graduates in India. For example TOI published, “for 37 year old Martin Asir Rajin, medical practice is a forgotten dream. The father of three with an undergraduate medicine degree from Russia now dabbles in medical transcription and runs an agency for healthcare products. I stopped appearing for the screening test five years ago after six failed attempts,” says Raj⁴. Also, as reported in the Times of India, an examinee argues the exam not only shatters dreams but also leaves India with fewer doctors.

I understand that India is a big country, we are too many people competing against each other on petty things, but is it worth to not allow someone to just pass the exam as MCI exam is merely a screening exam not at all a competitive exam, there are no seat limits, no reservation whatsoever by the law.

There are discussions to scrap the test. Else, the government should make it mandatory for students from abroad to participate in time bound clinical services in India with a final mandatory interview prior to getting the registration. Theoretical exam neither provides an opportunity to learn skills nor the opportunity to serve, merely a doorway to yet another corruption perhaps.

Please help me spread this message to the Central Government of India, the Medical Council of India, the National Board of Examination and the Indian Medical Association concerning a request for opportunity to serve.

 

References URL

 

1.    https://www.who.int/gho/health_workforce/physicians_density/en/  Available statistics show that over 45% of WHO Member States report to have less than 1 physician 
per 1000 population

2.    https://www.mciindia.org/CMS/rules-regulations/screening-test-regulations-2002

3.    https://www.icsin.org/uploads/2016/08/04/dffe4facdaae74208f5b411ab61abbd0.pdf

4.    https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/chennai/why-foreign-med-graduates-have-to-brace-for-a-bitter-pill-back-home/articleshow/66338572.cms  

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