Nod for foreign PG medical degrees
The Union Government, on March 10, issued a notification under the Indian Medical Council Act, 1956, recognizing postgraduate medical degrees awarded in Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the U.K. and the U.S., generally referred to as the English-speaking countries.
According to reports, the government’s decision was to overcome the shortage of medical practitioners in India. However, the government has made it clear that these degrees will be recognized on condition that they are recognized for enrolment of medical practitioners in the countries from where they are obtained.
Foreign postgraduate medical degrees used to be recognized in India in the past. This was stopped when Indira Gandhi was Prime Minister, as countries such as the U.K.. did not recognize Indian postgraduate degrees.
The system in place was mutual recognition in which India recognized postgraduate degrees of those countries which recognized its.
As the government has recognized these foreign degrees now, those holding them need not go through the screening test stipulated by the Medical Council of India (MCI). The recognition has come as a boon to Indian students who go abroad for acquiring a postgraduate degree after doing their MBBS here. They can now come back and practise.
The MCI says the number of registered allopathic doctors in the country is 6,83,582, with one doctor for every 1,634 population.
In addition, there are more than six lakh practitioners of Indian Systems of Medicine and homoeopathy.
There are 271 medical colleges, out of which 138 are in the government sector and the remaining 133 in the private sector. The colleges can admit 31,172 MBBS students a year, and the number of seats available in various postgraduate medical courses is approximately 11,005 annually.
Medical practitioners say that only if the MCI and the Dental Council of India (DCI) recognize the courses in foreign countries can the degree holders register themselves in the country and practise.