Data available with the National Board of Examination show that nearly 84 per cent Indians who earned their MBBS degrees from foreign universities in the last seven years (2012-18), failed to clear the mandatory test required to get a practicing license in India.
Clearing FMGE test is mandatory for all doctors who have earned their MBBS degree from a foreign country. Only those who earn their MBBS and post-graduate degrees from Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the UK and the US are exempted from this test. Besides earning their degrees from these five countries, these students (in case they want to practice in India) also have to be recognised for enrollment as medical practioners in the respective countries.
Replying to written questions in the Lok Sabha on November 29 and December 6 during the Winter Session of Parliament, the Union health ministry accepted that a majority of foreign-educated doctors are finding it hard to qualify the screening test.
Indian laws allow students to pursue MBBS courses from universities abroad. But in order to get a license to practice in India, they are required to qualify the Foreign Medical Graduate Examination (FMGE) conducted by the National Board of Examination (NBE).
Dearth of MBBS seats along with difficulty in getting admissions in medical colleges is forcing aspiring Indian doctors to explore learning opportunities abroad. Thousands of such aspiring doctors have enrolled in foreign universities over the years, spent lakhs of rupees as tuition and accommodation fee, and dedicated 5-6 years pursuing the course. But latest data show this investment is proving to be unproductive for a majority with nearly 84 per cent failing to clear the mandatory test required to practice in India.