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How many students with foreign MBBS degree become doctors in India? FMGE data reveals glaring facts

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How many students with foreign MBBS degree become doctors in India? FMGE data reveals glaring facts

New Delhi, First Published Mar 4, 2022, 11:07 PM IST

New Delhi: Following the Russian attack against Ukraine, the fate of Indian students pursuing medicine abroad is at stake. Why are a lot of MBBS aspirants moving to Ukraine for education?

From a long time, there has been a debate on those who complete their medical education from abroad. Now following the attack on Ukraine, there is a lot of debate on Indian youngsters who are studying abroad.

What was the necessity to go there? (Ukraine), what is the guarantee that those who don’t do well here in medical exams, will come back with medical education from abroad do better? Plenty of questions are being raised now. How many Indian students are pursuing education from different countries, which are the countries they prefer? Here are the five highlighting points.

Medical education and its service scenario:

As per World Health Organization (WHO), there has to a ratio of 1 doctor per 1000 population and if one has to go by this, there should be 1.38 crore doctors for 138 crore population in India. According to National Health Profile (NHP) data, till 2021, there were only 12 lakh registered doctors (Resident Medical practitioners). And at present, there is an availability of 83,000 MBBS seats in India. About 16 lakh aspirants appeared for medical exams. And if one speaks about the cost per seat, in private colleges, it costs between Rs 50 lakhs to Rs 1.5 crore for four-and-half years course and in foreign countries, it costs just Rs 20 to Rs 30 lakhs.

The number of students opting for medical education abroad jumped to triple-fold in 5 years:

According to the data, between 2015 to 2020, the number of medical students studying abroad has witnessed a three-fold increase. Students who get medical education from abroad also need to appear for Foreign Medical Graduate Examination (FMGE) which is held twice a year and students get an opportunity thrice clear to practice in India. Once cleared, they can either practice or join concerned institutions. The exams are conducted by the National Board of Examination (NBE) and according to the data, FMGE 2015 – 12,116 candidates had appeared and in 2020, 35,774 candidates appeared. Interestingly, in Indian medical colleges only 30,000 seats were increased.

Which countries do Indian medical students prefer?

Following the Russia and Ukraine war, it has come to notice that 20,000 plus Indian students enrolled for medical education abroad and are in different semesters. But Ukraine is not the only nation which Indian medical aspirants prefer. Countries like China, Russia, Kyrgyzstan, Philippines, and Kazakhstan are also in demand for medical colleges. In 2020, 12,680 candidates with medical education from China appeared in FMGE. From Russia – 4,258, from Ukraine – 4,153, from Kyrgyzstan – 4,156, from Philippines – 3,142 and 2,311 from Kazakhstan appeared in FMGE, says NBE data.

Only 16 percent cleared FMGE between 2015 to 2020:

Interesting facts have come out from NBE data. According to the data, students with a medical education degree from abroad fail to clear exams held in India. In the last five years, only 15.82 per cent have cleared exams held in India to qualify to practice or to teach. In 2022, only 13 per cent of students with medical education degrees from China cleared the exam and only 16 per cent of students returning from Ukraine may clear. Only Philippines returnees with medical degrees have some decent figures as 50.2 per cent cleared the FMGE exam in 2019 and 33.7 cleared in 2020. As a result, medical aspirants from India visiting Philippines has increased.

What do experts say?

Dr Aruna Vanikar, Undergraduate, Medical Education Board, National Medical Council in her opinion to a leading newspaper was quoted saying that those who get medical education from abroad are not good. The data from FMGE is evident of this fact. Hence, the unwanted costs in medical education in India should be addressed. She also pitched for an increase in medical seats in India. Give better infrastructure to medical colleges as this will prevent medical aspirants from going abroad.

Last Updated Mar 4, 2022, 11:07 PM IST

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