Government scraps screening test for foreign doctors

The Standing Committee of Parliament on health and family welfare is considering to conduct exit examination for MBBS students passing from all medical institutions from India. Medical students who study MBBS In Philippines and other abroad countries have to clear this examination to start practising medicine as well as to enter into post graduation medical courses. The National Eligibility Entrance Test, which is scheduled to be conducted during December, may set this as one of the eligibility criteria. It may not be possible to include this in this year itself as it requires an amendment to the Indian Medical Council (IMC) Act by the Parliament.

The central government has decided to scrap the mandatory screening test which was called as Foreign Medical Graduate Examination (FMGE), to start the medical practice in India. Instead, these students along with all other Indian medical students will appear in the All-India Post-Graduate Entrance Exam (AIPEE), which will be a single exam for those who want to pursue post-graduate programs and for those who want to practice in India after completing MD degree abroad.

The Union health ministry has planned to use the NEET Exam as the common exit test as well as an entrance test for doing post graduation in the medical field. Many countries have already implemented centralised tests. Experts have been emphasising on common exit and entrance tests for medical courses for a long time in India. The Medical Council of India had recommended to the health ministry last year itself about the need for an exit examination for MBBS students so as to ensure quality.

The health ministry and Medical Council of India have announced to replace the medical screening test which is a must for all the foreign medical graduates (FMGE) with AIPEE. This would reduce the burden on students by being the only effective test that any MBBS student studied in India or abroad to continue as a practitioner or PG student.


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