New Delhi: Even after clearing the Foreign Medical Graduates Examination (FMGE), MBBS graduates from abroad are facing difficulties to get themselves enrolled for the mandatory two-year internship programme in India.
Due to the scarcity of adequate Internship seats, around 2000 such FMG doctors are facing an uncertain future as they will not be able to register/ practice in India without completing the mandatory internship rule of the National Medical Commission (NMC).
In the case of Rajasthan, only around 30 percent of the total students, who cleared the mandatory FMGE test in January have secured a seat for Internship. Medical Dialogues had earlier reported that Rajasthan Medical Council only held counselling for filling only 399 seats while the state almost has approximately 2,000 FMG internship seats. 966 of the 1,365 exam-qualified candidates are still waiting for an internship seat.
Recently, protesting against the limited number of internship seats, the FMGs in Rajasthan stated a protest and urged the government to take immediate stapes. The medicos staged a protest near one of the Medical Colleges of Rajasthan and stated, ” We are asking for our right, we are not begging for a seat. We will be on strike today till our voice is heard. We want justice”
Similarly, FMGE graduates in Jammu and Kashmir are also protesting since 230 Internship seats are available for enrollment whereas there are around 400 doctors who have cleared the mandatory FMG examination. In Haryana, around 40 students are yet to get an internship seat, sources informed Medical Dialogues.
While the admission process in Maharashtra is ongoing, there is still no clarity regarding the number of available seats for FMGE graduates. Meanwhile, even after three months of the FMGE results, many states across the country have not yet commenced the counselling process.
Explaining the situation in other States, Dr. Jaswant Singh, founder of DPGI, a coaching institute for FMGE, NEXT, NEET PG exams told Medical Dialogues, “Around 1000 students in Rajasthan could not get enrolled for the Internship programme. They have already applied to the Rajasthan Medical Council and informed the other authorities including the CM. According to the State authorities, the problem is on the part of NMC and since only 7.5% of seats could be allotted to the students, only 400 seats were available. Similar situation is in several other States where several candidates could not be enrolled for the internship programme because of the scarcity of seats.”
He clarified that the issue is not only limited to the new students and added, “There are those students as well, who returned to India during COVID and completed one-year Internship. Now, they have no clue if they have to do another year of internship. If yes, where will those students go? More students will graduate in June and December, Next year, at the time of counselling, the number of students will be far more than the number of available seats.”
Referring to the issue of stipend, he mentioned, “While the rules specify that the FMG interns need to be given a stipend, now the students are not even demanding that. Their main concern is to get enrolled for the Internship anywhere in India.”
He further mentioned that even though the rules clearly state that the colleges cannot collect any fee for enrolling the FMGs for the Internship programme, several private medical colleges are collecting fees in the name of hostel fees.
Meanwhile, the Federation of All India Medical Association (FAIMA) has come in support of the FMG graduates and they have urged the National Medical Commission (NMC) to look into the matter.