Raising serious questions about the standards of medical education in various foreign countries, the Delhi High Court recently ordered closer scrutiny of Indian students graduating abroad and returning to practice.
It said the Medical Council of India was within its rights to subject them to a screening test before allowing them to enrol and practice as doctors.
“Over a period of time, it has come to the notice that a large number of private agencies sponsor students for medical studies in institutions outside India for commercial considerations. Such students also include those who did not fulfill the minimum eligibility requirements for admission to medical courses in India. Serious aberrations have been noticed in the standards of medical education in some of the foreign countries which are not at par with the standards of medical education available in India,” a bench headed by Justice SK Kaul observed recently.
The order came while the court dismissed a petition filed by a group of students who graduated from Manipal College of Medical Students in Nepal against the MCI’s insistence that a screening test be done before allowing them to practice in India.
Said the court: “Due to lack of uniformity in the standards of medical education in foreign countries, a provision should be made in the Indian Medical Council Act to enable MCI to conduct a screening test in order to satisfy itself with regard to the adequacy of knowledge and skills acquired by citizens of India who obtain medical qualifications from universities or medical institutions outside India before they are granted registration to practice medicine in India.
“A licence to practise ... has a larger public ramification as such a person deals with the life and death of the citizens of the country. The nature and quality of education to be provided to such medical practitioners before they were entitled to practice is crucial.”