Madras HC relief for doctor who got MBBS from foreign university

NMC had refused certificate on grounds she did not learn English.
Madras High Court. (File photo)
Madras High Court. (File photo)

CHENNAI: Explaining that English as a subject at the higher secondary level is not mandatory for studying MBBS, the Madras High Court has quashed a National Medical Commission (NMC) order refusing to allow a woman who studied MBBS in a foreign university and directed the commission to issue her the eligibility certificate to take up practice in India.

The order was passed by the first bench of Chief Justice SV Gangapurwala and Justice D Bharatha Chakravarthy recently on an appeal petition filed by Ouwshitha. She had completed Class X under CBSE in India and higher secondary school education in Sri Lanka before obtaining an MBBS degree from Sinchuan University in China. She returned to India after getting married to an Indian.

When she applied for the Foreign Medical Graduates Examination conducted by the National Medical Commission (NMC), it was rejected on the ground that the curriculum of the board the appellant had studied in Sri Lanka does not have English as a mandatory subject. After litigation, she was allowed to take the examination but the results were kept in sealed cover. However, NMC did not issue her eligibility certificate and a single judge upheld NMC’s decision.

NMC contended that she did not possess the eligibility requirement for taking admission in the undergraduate medical course as per the Foreign Medical Institution Regulations read with Graduate Medical Education Regulations, as well as code 7 under Chapter 4 of NEET-UG.

The NMC did not take into account the fact that she had scored 7.5 out of 9 in the International English Language Training System (IELTS) which is equivalent to 80% in Plus-Two of national board and 90% in state boards. The bench noted that the appellant has undergone her education in the competent and proper institutions and completed MBBS by proper 10+2+5 year stream.

“Like any other student, she is also entitled to lead a professional life and career and her case deserves consideration empathetically,” the bench observed, adding that to make her sit at home in spite of her qualification would cause gravest prejudice to her.

The bench quashed the impugned NMC order and directed it to issue the eligibility certificate to the appellant and consequently declare the results of her screening examination for foreign medical graduates and register as a medical practitioner, if there is no other impediment.

Bond period reduced
Chennai: After reducing the bond period from two years to one year for non-service PG degree and diploma doctors who completed their course in 2023, the Health Department has now extended the same relaxation to the 2022 batch. The Health Department has also reduced the bond amount from `40 lakh to `20 lakh for PG doctors, and from `20 lakh to `10 lakh for PG diploma doctors.

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