Indian Medical Students in Philippines Granted Practice Licences Locally and Internationally

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New Delhi, 24th May 2024: Indian students pursuing medical education in the Philippines have received a significant boost as the country has passed legislation allowing international medical graduates to obtain licences and practice within the country.

This move not only benefits students aiming to practice as doctors locally in the Philippines but also those intending to return to India for practice. It aligns with the rules set by the National Medical Council (NMC), which require individuals to possess a valid practicing licence to appear for the Indian screening test upon their return from studying abroad. This legislative change follows similar actions taken by several other nations that are popular destinations for Indian students seeking medical education abroad, including Russia, Belarus, and Georgia.

In 2023, the NMC de-recognized the Bachelor of Science course in the Philippines, recognizing only candidates from the four-year MD program as equivalent to India’s MBBS course. However, as this program fell short of the NMC’s stipulated requirement of 54 months, candidates were required to complete a one-year internship to fulfill the criteria before taking the screening test to practice as doctors in India.

Kadwin Pillai, a foreign education agent, expressed satisfaction with the recent developments, stating, “The duration of the undergraduate medical course in the Philippines has been amended to align with the NMC’s requirements. This amendment allowing foreign medical students studying in the Philippines to practice medicine locally or internationally will greatly benefit our students and further strengthen the Philippines’s position as a leading destination for medical education in the Asia-Pacific region.” Approximately 2,000 Indian students travel to the Philippines each year for their undergraduate medical education.

This year, a record 24 lakh students appeared for the National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test (UG). Foreign education agents estimate that after local admissions close, around 5 lakh Indians will pursue medical education abroad.