Internship for Foreign Medical Graduates
The National Medical Commission (NMC) has made changes to its rules for one year. These changes allow foreign medical graduates who have passed their screening test to work as interns at hospitals that are not involved in teaching.
The NMC has clarified that the provision of a stipend during the internship will be determined at the discretion of the respective state authorities where the medical college or institute is located.
In an attempt to formalize the one-year compulsory internship, which is a prerequisite for foreign graduates to obtain a permanent license to practice in India, the apex medical education regulator had previously mandated that students only intern in medical college hospitals.
These hospitals were instructed to reserve 7.5 percent of their internship seats for foreign graduates, who were to be paid a stipend equivalent to that of Indian interns.
While well-intentioned, this move resulted in a significant decrease in the number of internship seats available to foreign medical graduates. Internship seats are released only once a year, while the screening test for foreign graduates takes place twice, leading to long waiting periods for some candidates.
Moreover, many students have to apply for the second year of their internship, and the current round of examinations has resulted in a higher pass percentage, exacerbating the backlog of placements this year.
For instance, in Delhi, over 2,000 applications were received after the January examination, but only 42 students were able to secure an internship. Furthermore, 31 students who were allocated an internship seat by the state medical council were denied internships by the hospitals.