The decision of the West Bengal government to allocate medical seats for second and third-year Ukraine-returned MBBS students has received a backlash from the National Medical Commission (NMC), which is the regulator of medical education in India, and from the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.
The West Bengal government took the decision to accommodate 412 MBBS students who have returned from the war-ravaged country and to help them continue their education. Out of these, 172 students will get the opportunity to attend practical training in government medical colleges of West Bengal.
It was also reported that the government allocated 135 students, pursuing the fourth or fifth year of their medical course, in ‘observing seats’ at government colleges for practical training.
According to the NMC and MoHFW officials, the announcement of the West Bengal government is a transgression of the guidelines of the NMC that mandates that Foreign Medical Graduates must complete their theoretical and practical education and a year of medical internship at the college where they have been admitted. The students completing their education in this process will be unable to apply for the screening tests that the medical graduates need to take in order to get a license to practice in India.
An NMC official quoted that they are the ones who are supposed to make decisions for the Ukraine returnee students. He also pointed out that the West Bengal government did not seek permission before taking the decision.
The director of medical education in Bengal, Debashis Bhattacharya, defended the government’s decision by saying that the state first increased the number of seats and subsequently accommodated the students.
Dr Rohan Krishnan, President of the Federation of All India Medical Association, rejected the concept of ‘observing seats’. According to him, ‘observership’ is referred to the training under which MBBS doctors work under specialists for training in a particular field. It is not applicable to students who have not completed MBBS.
The MoHFW is digging deep into the matter and looking for ways to accommodate the students in other European nations.
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Source: Financial Express and Times Now