Responding to queries from the Indian High Commission in Shanghai and Indian embassy in Beijing, the Union Health Ministry has clarified that those who have done internships in China as part of the MBBS curriculum in that country are acceptable for registration to practice medicine in India. They will, however, have to clear the screening test for foreign medical graduates.
The fact remains that in the last three years, only 6-8 per cent medical graduates from China who took the Foreign Medical Graduate Examination (FMGE) cleared it. The number of Indian medical students heading to China is rising every year. A Chinese degree is often cheaper than one from Europe, though a four-and-a-half year course plus a one-year internship could cost Rs 20-25 lakh.
The medical industry, however, is not convinced about the quality of graduates from China, and many hospitals insist on another internship before employing them. Data from the National Board of Examinations, which conducts the FMGE, gives an indication why.
Of the 3,935 graduates from China who appeared for the test in 2014, 352 (8.9 per cent) cleared it. In 2015, 3,536 candidates appeared but 275 (7.7 per cent) passed. The next year, 3,772 candidates appeared but only 261 (6.9 per cent) passed.
FMGE is a screening test that has to be cleared by foreign medical graduates before their registration with Medical Council of India. Average pass percentage for FMGE is 20-25 per cent. Sources said it is because of the difference in pass percentage that hospitals in India often insist on an internship.
“The Indian High Commission in Shanghai and the embassy in Beijing had raised doubts about whether internship in China is acceptable in India. We have clarified it is. It is not mandatory for students to do another 12-month internship here. That was the position earlier, too,” said a Health Ministry official. MCI rules require a graduate to complete a one-year internship for registration.