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Last updated: 08 Apr 2022
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The National Medical Commission (NMC) planning to soon switch over to a licentiate test after MBBS, the apex body has released draft guidelines on how the doctors will be registered in order to practice medicine.
The guidelines released by NMC provides the framework for creating a dynamic national medical register, with a unique ID assigned to each student who qualifies NEET, with professional qualifications such as post-graduation and super-speciality training being added to the same ID.
The three draft guidelines also throws open the registration to foreign doctors who want to come to India to study in post-graduation courses, fellowships, clinical research or voluntary clinical services. The draft guidelines will also solve the lacunae of foreign experts being granted “permission” by the Health Ministry. According to the new draft guidelines the NMC will now grant a temporary registration to such doctors that will end with the duration of the programme. The maximum duration of such a temporary registration will be 12 months.
The draft guidelines also states that Indian medical graduates would be eligible for registration in the National Medical Register after they complete their MBBS degree from a recognised college, complete their year-long mandatory internship and pass the National Exit Test (NExT).
The foreign medical graduates can be registered after they have completed their education in a country other than India, are registerable as doctors in the said country, have completed a year-long internship in India, and have passed the NExT exam.
The NExT will not only level the playing field for both, it will also act as the qualifying test for the post-graduate programmes instead of the NEET-PG where the aspirants have to appear for.
As for the medical register, officials said that after a unique ID is created, the portal will be thrown open to all recognised institutes in India who can upload all verified documents of their students to it. According to the NMC officials this process simplifies the registration process for the students completing the medical courses.
The draft guidelines also stated that all the licensed practitioners are obliged to inform and update their data in the National Register such as Additional Qualifications, Contact Details and Place of Practice / Employment as soon as changes occur. Currently every state maintains its own medical register, which is then sent to NMC for a consolidated country-wide register. With the new guidelines NMC will maintain all registration across the country of all the states.
The officials of NMC further stated that till the NExt is introduced, the current processes will continue, the draft guidelines state and it is anticipated that the new guidelines and Next Exam will be implemented from the academic year 2024 and the government expects to conduct the NExT from the 2024 academic year.
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