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Foreign Medical Education: Delhi High Court Issues Notice On Plea Challenging 'Minimum 54 Months MBBS' Duration Under NMC Regulations

Akshita Saxena
5 Jan 2022 9:01 AM GMT
Foreign Medical Education: Delhi High Court Issues Notice On Plea Challenging Minimum 54 Months MBBS Duration Under NMC Regulations
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The Delhi High Court on Tuesday issued notice on the petition filed by a medical aspirant, challenging the vires of National Medical Commission (Foreign Medical Graduate Licentiate) Regulations, 2021, as ultra vires the Constitution.The Division Bench of Chief Justice DN Patel and Justice Jyoti Singh has fixed the case for hearing on February 28.The petitioner is a medical aspirant,...

The Delhi High Court on Tuesday issued notice on the petition filed by a medical aspirant, challenging the vires of National Medical Commission (Foreign Medical Graduate Licentiate) Regulations, 2021, as ultra vires the Constitution.

The Division Bench of Chief Justice DN Patel and Justice Jyoti Singh has fixed the case for hearing on February 28.
The petitioner is a medical aspirant, desirous of pursuing BS Biology (1.5 - 2 years) leading to Doctor of Medicine-MD (48 months) at at Lyceum North Western University, Philippines, which is at par with MBBS course in India.

Section 36 of National Medical Commission Act, 2019 permits recognition of medical qualifications granted by medical institutions outside India.

It is the petitioner's case that the impugned regulations of 2021 are ultra vires the parent statute. i.e., the National Medical Commission Act, 2019. Further, it is contended that the impugned regulations bring in certain new disabilities which will adversely affect her career and the careers of many Indian students who wish to take admission in foreign medical universities.
The plea points out following issues:
1. Regulation 4(i) of the impugned regulations has laid down the minimum duration of MBBS course (54 months) for recognition in India.
It is stated that this will jeopardize careers of students pursuing, and those who wish to pursue undergraduate medical course (less than 54 months) from foreign countries.

"...MBBS course with less than 54 months of course duration is already recognised by Section 36(4) of the NMC Act. Now, the impugned notification, which is a subordinate legislation, cannot override or amend Section 36(4) of the NMC Act," the plea reads.

It adds,

"The respondents have lost sight that countries that offers MBBS course for less than 54 months, their universities and colleges are ranked higher in WHO ranking for quality education in medical field."

2. The impugned regulations recommend two internships for foreign medical graduates; one in the country where they graduate from; and second in India, after they pass the exit test (NEXT or Screening Test).

"This is an additional hardship put upon the foreign medical graduates, and there is no foundation for the same under the NMC Act...this will also cause undue delay for the foreign medical students to start their medical profession in India," it is contended.

It is further averred that the prescription is contrary to the Kerala High Court's decision which upheld the validity of internships done abroad and held that subsequent internship is not required.

3. Regulation 4(b) of the impugned regulations requires foreign medical graduates to have registration from the country where they graduate from, at par with the licence to practice medicine given to citizens of that country.

"The respondents have ventured into immigration policy. Applying for licence to practice in the country of graduation amounts to applying for an immigration and work visa. The respondents cannot force the foreign medical graduates to undertake immigration and apply for work visa which will put the additional financial burden on them only for the purpose of writing exit test," the plea states.

4. The impugned regulations are enacted assuming powers under Section 15(4) and Section 57 of the NMC, Act.

The plea avers that there are no powers under Section 15(4) and Section 57 of the NMC, Act to frame any rules and regulations for taking admission to foreign medical universities, and to decide their curriculum, duration, internships etc.

Plea is filed through Advocate Viraj Kadam.

Case Title: Likhitha Yanmandala v. National Medical Commission & Anr.

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