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NEXT a must for Foreign Medical Graduates from 2019

Foreign medical graduates who are willing to practice in India will have to clear the National Exit Test (NEXT) and would not need to go through the standalone Foreign Medical Graduates Exam (FMGE) from next year.

The Union Health Ministry is making efforts to merge the FMGE with the NEXT — which has been proposed to assess quality of MBBS pass-outs – to streamline the medical education and maintain the uniformity in quality of doctors practicing in the country.

To be eligible to continue practising in India, foreign medical graduates, at present, are required to write the FMGE and need to show Medical Council of India (MCI) eligibility certificates.

With the plan to merge the FMGE with the NEXT, the ministry is mulling to scrap the MCI eligibility score and instead introduce NEET score for foreign graduates.

The proposal of NEXT is a part of the National Medical Commission Bill, 2018, which will be passed in the upcoming monsoon session of the Parliament.

After bringing amendments in the draft law in line with the recommendations of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Health, the ministry plans to propose a uniform national exit test in the final year of MBBS course to test the quality of the graduating MBBS students.

“At present, the National Board of Examination conducts the Foreign Medical Graduate Test annually for foreign graduates wanting to practise medicine in India. We propose to merge FMG test in NEXT so that the Indian graduates and foreign graduates are tested against the same yardstick and a uniform standard of quality of practising doctors is ensured,” a Health Ministry source was quoted as saying by a news agency.

The FMGE is conducted twice a year and requires 50% marks to clear it.

As recently reported, the ministry had made it mandatory for Indian students to clear the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET) to pursue medical studies outside the country.

Manmath Nayak

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