Foreign graduate doctors willing to join nation’s corona fight, seek reduction in screening test cut-off

At a time when the nation is facing a pandemic situation that too with a derth of sufficient doctors, the Foreign Medical Graduates (FMGs) have reached out to the Government with the request to allow them to enter the work force.

At present, Foreign Medical Graduates (FMGs) are supposed to pass Foreign Medical Graduates Examination (FMGE) a screening test conducted by Medical Council of India (MCI), before starting medical practices in India.

The FMGs have requested the Government to provide a cut-off in the minimum passing percentile of the test so that more of them could immediately start their services on emergency basis. The FMGs have appealed to the Government to reduce the cut-off percentiles for passing Foreign Medical Graduates Examination (FMGE) from 50% to 30%, for General students and similar relief to those from reserved categories. They have sought this relief for the tests that were held in December last year and those which may take place in coming days.

To justify their demands, the FMGs have pointed to the fact that MCI has provided similar relief to Indian graduates by reducing cut-off percentile in NEET-PG, which is the common entrance test for all post graduate courses.

Last month, after having found that almost three thousand post graduate medical course seats were vacant even after two rounds of NEET-PG tests, the MCI decided to reduce the cut-off percentile to fill the vacancies.

The Foreign Medical Graduates have alleged that they are being discriminated just because they didn’t pursue their graduation course in India. Many have said that it was financial liabilities which forced them to pursue the course abroad as the expenses for medical graduation in India are amongst the highest in the world.

The FMGs are saying that they are willing to join the Covid fight of the nation and contribute in it, but due to stringent rules against those with a foreign degree and step motherly attitude of the MCI, they are not being able to fulfill their duties as qualified doctors. Apart from the Government they have also appealed to the people of the country for their support.

While it may be true that the government wishes to maintain a certain standard for medical practices within the country, which is commendable. But at a time when hospitals are overflowing with patients and Covid-19 numbers are only soaring with each passing day, reconsidering those FMG doctors who missed the exams by narrow margins might not be a bad idea.