Indian Medical Students’ Fate in Philippines’ Medical Courses Uncertain As NMC Disapproves

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Pune, 14th September 14, 2023: Thousands of Indian students who pursued medical education in the Philippines are facing an uncertain future as the National Medical Commission (NMC) has disapproved both BS and MD medical courses in the country. This decision could potentially affect around 25,000 Indian students, including 3,000 to 4,000 from Maharashtra.

The NMC declared the courses invalid through an Ordinance published in the Gazette. Until the promulgation of this Ordinance, the NMC had recognized these courses. The ruling also applies to students who were admitted in the academic years 2020-21 and 2021-22. Concerned parents and students have voiced their demand for reconsideration of this decision to mitigate educational and financial losses.

Obtaining admission to medical courses in India is highly competitive, and private colleges often charge exorbitant fees. Consequently, many students seek medical education in countries like Russia, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, Vietnam, and the Philippines. In the Philippines, students can gain admission to BS-MD medical education programs at accredited colleges with lower fees. However, Indian students completing their education abroad may now be required to complete an additional one and a half years of internship upon returning to India. Notably, the NMC has exempted students who complete their medical education in countries such as the USA, Canada, England, Australia, and New Zealand.

The NMC clarifies that BS and MD courses are distinct degrees in the Philippines, and the BS course cannot be equated with the MBBS course. Consequently, Indian students who have already been admitted to any foreign medical course not equivalent to the MBBS in India cannot register for medical practice in India. The BS course in the Philippines serves as a bridging course for candidates entering science and research fields, covering biology subjects similar to the eleventh and twelfth grades in India.

A representative for parents, Geeta Jain, expressed concern over the sudden invalidation of degrees, stating, “We have taken an educational loan of Rs 30 lakh for our child’s medical course. However, suddenly invalidating the degree will cause academic and financial loss. There are at least 5,000 students from Pune, Pimpri-Chinchwad, and surrounding districts studying in the Philippines. All students are at risk of losing access to higher education, so the state and central government should reconsider this decision.”

As per NMC instructions, the BS course is the pre-medical course in the Philippines. After completing it, candidates must take the NMAT exam to gain admission to the MD program. This four-year MD course is equivalent to the MBBS in India. However, the BS course in the Philippines does not include pre-clinical subjects like anatomy. Instead, subjects like biochemistry, biophysics, microbiology, biology, psychology, and more are taught, equivalent to India’s twelfth-grade curriculum.


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