The bachelor’s in science (BS) course in the Philippines cannot be equated with the MBBS course in India as it comprises subjects of biology similar to that in classes 11 and 12 here, the National Medical Commission has said.
The commission also said that according to rules, foreign medical qualifications or courses which are not equivalent to the MBBS course in India cannot be treated as eligible qualifications for registration to practice medicine in the country.
In a public notice issued on March 25, the National Medical Commission (NMC) said it has considered representations of students pursuing the BS (bachelor’s in science) course in the Philippines seeking an exemption or special dispensation, prior to publication of the Foreign Medical Graduate Licentiate (FMGL) Regulations 2021.
The NMC said that the BS and the MD courses are two separate degrees in the Philippines.
“The BS course cannot be equated/included with the MBBS course. Therefore, after the publication of the gazette notification dated 18.11.2021 i.e. NMC’s FMGL Regulations 2021, the students who have already taken admission for any foreign medical qualification/course which is not equivalent to the MBBS course in India, cannot be treated as eligible qualifications for registration to practice medicine in India,” the commission said. Whereas, students who have taken admission in the MD course in the Philippines prior to the FMGL Regulations 2021 can be considered, subject to fulfilling other prevailing eligibility criteria for registration, it said.
The BS is a bridging course of bachelor of science for candidates seeking to join courses in the field of science and research in the Philippines, the NMC said, highlighting it comprises subjects of biology similar to that of classes 11 and 12 in India.
The BS course is the pre-medical course in the Philippines, after the completion of which candidates have to appear in the NMAT examination to seek admission to the MD course (graduate or primary medical course being equivalent to MBBS) which is of four-year duration, the commission said.
“The pattern is BS course followed by MD course, however, in the said BS course, the candidates are not being taught pre-clinical subjects like anatomy, biochemistry, biophysics, microbiology etc., rather they are being taught subjects like biology, psychology etc. which is equivalent to class 12th in India. Hence, BS course is a basic degree course prior to the starting of graduate/primary medical course in reference with Indian education,” the NMC said.
“The same does not even qualify a candidate to be eligible for admission in MBBS course in India,” it said in the public notice.
It explained that the Graduate Medical Education Regulations 1997 prescribes that candidates mandatorily must qualify the NEET-UG examination for becoming eligible for counselling to be considered for admission in the MBBS course and that to appear in NEET-UG, it is a pre-condition that candidates must have studied in the last two years of school education (classes 11 and 12) regular, simultaneous or co-terminus the subjects of physics, chemistry and biology.
Thus, a candidate who has already undergone the requisite studies in classes 11 and 12 in India and thereafter, qualified the NEET-UG, being the pre-requisite for proceeding to a foreign medical Institute, shall not gain any further knowledge by undergoing the BS course, which seems to be a mandatory course for obtaining admission to the graduate or primary medical course in the Philippines.
The BS course in the Philippines is a pre-requisite to appear in NMAT for admission in the MD course (graduate or primary medical course being equivalent to MBBS).
Hence, the duration of the BS course cannot be counted in the duration of the graduate or primary medical course in the Philippines. Further, the regulations were not made or directed to any particular country but to be universally applicable for all foreign medical graduates, with the sole objective of maintaining a standard of education and quality of doctors in India, the NMC said.
“The National Medical Commission, being the regulatory authority always endeavours to improve the quality of medical education and health care system in India and provides an equal and fair opportunity for individuals who aspire to study medicine and thereafter practice medicine in India. However, practising medicine involves the risk of human life, hence the Commission cannot compromise with the high standard and quality of medical education in India,” the body stated.
Courtesy : The Indian Express