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A screening test, mandated by Medical Council of India (MCI), for practicing medicine in India, has come as huge stumbling block in the way of about 10,000 foreign-education doctors. Close to 10,000 Indians across the country who have completed their undergraduate medical education abroad are unemployed or under-employed, says a news report published by TOI. The affected doctors are planning to approach the Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh, through All India Foreign Medical Graduates’ Association, with a request to scrap the test, the report says.
Since 2002, students who have studied medicine abroad have had to appear for a screening test conducted by MCI, the regulatory authority for medical education. Only those who clear the test, administered by the National Board of Examinations, get certificates from the state medical council permitting them to do a year-long internship in a university or hospital in the state. So far, the highest pass percentage has been 50% in 2005. Pass percentages have varied from a dismal 9% in 2003 to 27% in 2011.
However, MCI has vehemently denied to even dilute the test let alone scrapping it, as according to the MCI official, the screening test should not be taken lightly as doctors deal with the life of the people and the MCI wants to convince itself that the doctor is adequately trained before he/she starts practicing medicine in the country.
On the other hand All India Foreign Medical Graduates’ Association has said that each student had spent Rs 15 to 20 lakh to study abroad. The course costs just double in any of the private medical colleges in India and their course is nearly seven years long compared to the five-and-half-year medical course in India.