Recently, the Maharashtra Medical Council rebutted a medical graduate from China, who passed the Foreign Medical Graduate Examination (FMGE) and also completed a year-long internship for registration as a medical practitioner. According to the new notification, there is a requirement of two years of internship. The graduate contended that the provision does not apply to her as she cleared the FMGE exam before the issue of the new notification.
The Maharashtra Medical Council has denied her application twice and she is contemplating legal action. There are similar cases, which are pending with the council and they are presently operating without a committee.
Another case of a medical graduate from China, who passed the FMGE exam and also completed her year-long compulsory rotating medical internship ( CRMI) program has failed to get permanent registration as a medical practitioner from the Maharashtra Medical Council despite following the issue for nearly six months. The council rescinded her application twice in 2023 referring to the National Medical Council notification dated July 28, 2022. According to the notification, there is a requirement for a two-year internship. This situation leaves her in a state of uncertainty.
Dr. Nayanaa Varsaale, a native of Borivali. She graduated from China before clearing the FMGE exam in June 2021. She finishes her CMRI at KEM Hospital, Parel in September 2021- September 2022. On May 8, 2023, she applied for registration as a medical practitioner. However, the medical council denied her application referring to the NMC notification, which declares that foreign medical graduates who complete their degrees on or before June 20, 2022, require a two-year internship. The notification mainly discoursed the medical students who are returning to India due to the COVID-19 pandemic or the Russia-Ukraine war, who probably missed physical clinical training during their stay abroad. She also asserts that she cleared the exam in June 2021, which was before the notification was issued so it does not apply to her. She mentioned the same in the letter to the council on September 25, 2023, and another letter on November 6, 2023. But neither letter aroused a response. She also visited the MMC office multiple times in the intervening time but the authorities were denied to meet her. She also expressed that what is happening is grossly unfair. Her batchmates cleared the FMGE after her but they received registration. However, she was stuck and unable to practice or pursue higher studies for over a year. She was thinking of moving to the high court for justice.
Dr. Dilip Mhaisekar, director, of the Directorate of Medical Education and Research, also holds additional charge as an administrator of MMC, a quasi-judicial body that governs the quality of medical education and ethics in the state. He says that since Varsaala applied for the registration after the notification was issued she would have to fulfill the two-year internship requirement, and there are several cases like hers where the applicants cleared the FMGE before the NMC notification that was issued in July 2022. He also says that they were considering the date on which the applicants applied to the NMC for registration. Varsaale applied after the notification so she will have to complete the two-year internship.
Instead of relying on NMC guidelines the administrator or registrar of MMC has the authority to evaluate such cases on an individual basis, check documents, and take decisions accordingly says an ex-MMC member.
The doctor said that ideally the administrator /registers should go through all the documents and if she fulfills all the standards then she should be given the registration. Many complaints are not getting apprised in the absence of the 18-member committee, the administrator and registrar have more responsibilities. Nearly 500 medical negligence cases are pending with the council, anticipating a hearing.
Dr. Shivkumar Utture, ex-president of MMC says that earlier we used to hold 4 to 5 hearings in a month, but since the committee has been dissolved, there have been only 1-2 hearings taking place, and the pending medical negligence cases are bound to go up and will dissuade the people to move toward the MMC.
MMC has 1.8 lakh registered doctors and annually it witnesses 9000 new registrations.