Indian Medical Students in the Philippines Face Uncertain Future as NMC Disapproves of Courses

The fate of Indian medical students in the Philippines is uncertain after the National Medical Commission (NMC) disapproved of the courses offered by some Philippine medical colleges. The NMC has said that the students currently studying in these colleges cannot practice medicine in India after graduation.

September 14, 2023: The NMC’s decision has caused a lot of anxiety and uncertainty among the affected students. Many have taken loans to study in the Philippines and are now worried about how they will repay them if they cannot practice medicine.

In a statement, the NMC said it would take action against colleges that offer substandard medical education. It has also said that it will work with the Philippine government to ensure that the quality of medical education in the Philippines meets Indian standards.

Impact of NMC’s decision

The NMC’s decision is likely to have a significant impact on Indian medical students in the Philippines. Many of these students may have to return to India and complete their medical education here as NMC has disapproved both BS and MD medical courses in the country. The decision could affect around 30,000 Indian students, including 5,000 from Maharashtra. It could be a costly and time-consuming process.

The NMC’s decision could also discourage other Indian students from studying medicine in the Philippines. It could harm the Philippines’ medical tourism industry.

NMC’s observations

The BS course is a pre-medical course in the Philippines, according to NMC instructions. To gain admission to the MD program, candidates must pass the NMAT exam. In India, the MD course is equivalent to the four-year MBBS course. A BS degree in the Philippines does not include preclinical subjects like biochemistry, biophysics, microbiology, biology, psychology, etc., which are included in the twelfth-grade curriculum in India.

Admissions to medical courses in India beyond reach

Admission to medical courses in India is highly competitive, and private colleges often charge exorbitant fees. Due to this, many students opt to study medicine in Russia, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, Vietnam, and the Philippines. Accredited colleges in the Philippines offer lower-cost BS-MD medical education programs. Upon returning to India after completing their education abroad, Indian students may be required to complete an additional one and a half years of internship. Notably, the NMC has exempted students who complete their medical education in countries such as the USA, Canada, England, Australia and New Zealand.

Way forward

The Indian government and the Philippine government need to work together to find a solution to this problem. The two governments must ensure that the quality of medical education in the Philippines meets Indian standards. It will help to protect the interests of Indian medical students and the Philippines’ medical tourism industry.

The NMC’s decision is a setback for Indian medical students in the Philippines. However, it is not the end of the road. The two governments need to work together to solve this problem. With cooperation from both sides, it is possible to find a way to ensure that Indian medical students can continue their studies in the Philippines and eventually practice medicine in India.

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