IMPHAL, Sep 13: The Foreign Medical Graduate Association, Manipur (FMGAM) has appealed Government of India to infuse more than 30,000 qualified foreign medical graduates into the National healthcare system to aid fight COVID-19.
There are more than 30,000 FMGs who are qualified MBBS degree holders from many foreign countries like Russia, China, and Bangladesh etc who could be utilised to effectively face the pandemic. In spite of the fact that these doctors were issued eligibility certificates by the Medical Council of India (MCI) and got MBBS degree from WHO recognised medical colleges of various foreign countries, the system of FMGE screening test conducted under MCI Screening Test Regulations, 2002 denies majority of them the license of practising in India. The pass percentage of the FMGE in recent years has been well below 20% consistently, it said.
During this time of crisis, the wrong notion of considering FMGs as unfit and not suitable for inducting into the National Healthcare system may be avoided. The wrong notion of assuming the foreign medical colleges as low standard and having sub standard infrastructure may also be reviewed. It is now a well established fact that many of the new medical colleges in India are lacking in terms of infrastructure or faculty strength.
On the other hand, many of the foreign medical colleges where the FMGs studied are world class institutions and have much higher world rankings than those here in India, said the association.
It opined that the best decision during this pandemic will be to fully exempt the FMGE Screening test until NEXT (National Exit Test), the proposed common Licentiate Medical Examination which will constitute the final year of MBBS programme and induct the full force of more than 30,000 FMGs into the healthcare system.
"However, if the authority doesn't want to completely ignore the screening, at least, the qualifying percentage can be reduced from 50 per cent to 20 per cent starting from December 2019 exam till the NEXT is executed," FMGAM said.