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Ukraine is a popular destination among MBBS aspirants partly due to its cost-effectiveness. Russia and Ukraine attract a significant number of Indian students for MBBS and BDS courses. But now all Indian students in Ukraine are forced to return home in the middle of their classes.
According to the National Medical Commission (NMC) regulations for Foreign Medical Graduates (FMG) issued in 2021, transfer from a foreign university to an Indian university in the middle of an MBBS program is not allowed as the guidelines entry and selection criteria differ.
NMC regulations for foreign medical graduates provide a 10-year window for students to graduate, complete their internships (one year in Ukraine and India respectively), and apply for the foreign medical graduate exam to receive their licenses. Since an MBBS degree in Ukraine takes an average of six years, and taking into account the additional two years required for internships, candidates therefore only have two years left to apply for their bachelor’s degree within the 10-year window.
However, given the current crisis, there is no way of knowing when these students will be allowed to return to Ukraine to complete their studies. Therefore, the 10-year window may pose difficulties for them, as they will no longer be able to apply for a license to practice medicine in India if they do not complete the courses within that time. As the situation between Russia and Ukraine is getting worse every day, we can expect a decision regarding relaxations for MBBS students.
Pavan Choudhary, President of Medical Technology of India, said: “The Russian-Ukrainian war is likely to push Indian students to explore other options for MBBS abroad, as these two countries attract significant numbers of students. Indians for the course. Countries like Bangladesh, Nepal, Spain, Germany, Kyrgyzstan and the United Kingdom, among others, could gain popularity due to the cheaper cost of courses there”.
It is heartening to note that some states are stepping in to help displaced students, namely the Consortium of Reputable Universities in Karnataka has offered to host a thousand medical students returning from Ukraine. Furthermore, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has also urged private players to expand in the medical education sector.
Choudhary said, “This of course requires serious systemic review and policy reframing. If we can make the necessary changes to our medical education policy and facilitate the necessary ecosystem, then India can aspire to become a significant hub for the preparation of physicians and health care workers.”
Sanjay Bhutani, director of the Medical Technology Association of India, said: “The uncertainty that war brings weighs heavily on returning Indian students who were studying medicine in Ukraine. the necessary internship program of 12 months in their respective institutes by enabling them to continue their remaining internship in India by allocating additional 7.5% seats in Indian medical colleges to foreign medical graduates We hope the fate of approximately 18,000 students will also be on their side to ensure there is no delay for these future healthcare providers to serve our already overstretched healthcare system due to the existing pandemic and now political unrest .
Dr. Rimy Dey, Head of Graduate Studies Committee, IMA-JDN (Indian Medical Association – Junior Doctors Network) said: “The situation in Ukraine has created a state of doubt about the future of thousands of Indian students who continued their medical courses from Ukraine. . Such unprecedented situations require unusual solutions. The rehabilitation of these medical students should be the top priority. Integration into the current Indian medical school system may not be a snap, but an effective solution in the form of a medical or out-of-school student exchange program on campus or online to pursue medical education should be sought. While a state of uncertainty hangs over the careers of these students in the different phases of their medical careers, instead of weighing them down further, the government, authorities medical professionals, NMC, IMA, Association of medical students and teachers should come together proactively to thwart doubts and come up with a strong and effective approach. the solution.”
Dr Pravin Dhage, President of the Association of Resident Doctors, said: “This should not be in vain. The Indian government must take into account the sufferings of these medical students and should also make arrangements to admit them into the medical colleges of India.They can be adjusted at one time in the existing medical colleges of our country by using proper distribution systems.And this is only possible by amending the current provisions of the Medical Commission national.