Can medical students returning from Ukraine complete their course in India? Easier said than done, say experts



“I don’t think the Indian government will be able to accommodate 20,000 students. If they can, that will be fine. Our studies suffered because of the war. I have a friend who is studying at Lugansk Medical University, which has now exploded. It no longer exists,” said Shraiya Sharma, a student at Vinnytsia National Medical University.

Kuldeep, a student from Haryana said: “Now that India has abstained from voting in favor of Ukraine [in the UN], it was said that it could be a precarious situation for us if we decide to return to study there. We do not know what will happen to universities as the infrastructure is destroyed in this war.


The latest circular from the National Medical Commission, issued on March 4, now allows for the payment of a stipend to those who qualify for the Graduate Medical Study Examination Abroad in India.

“There are foreign medical graduates whose internship is incomplete due to such compelling situation beyond their control, such as Covid-19 and war. Considering the agony and stress faced by these foreign medical graduates, their application to do the remaining part of the internship in India is considered eligible,” the circular reads.

But this circular is not of much use for the students who were rescued from Ukraine.

Dr. Rohan Krishnan from ESIC Hospital explained: “The circular does not affect medical students from Ukraine at this time. Many students are in their second, third or fourth year of studies and have not yet graduated. To be eligible for the stipend, one must complete the degree, sit for the exam, qualify and then obtain the internship.


the The Indian Medical Association (IMA) has asked PM Modi ensure that ailing students are accommodated in medical colleges in India by increasing seats in all public and private medical schools in the country by 2-5%.

In a statement, the IMA said, “All evacuated medical learners who are citizens of India and have been admitted there after applying for a certificate of eligibility from the statutory authorities in India and at various stages of progress, he must be adjusted as a single measure in existing medical care. schools in the country through an appropriate distribution of disbursements taking into account the interest of geographical location of said learner, indicating that said incorporation into the medical school concerned should not be considered as an increase in the capacity of annual admission and should be cleared to progress in the respective Indian medical schools for the remainder of their MBBS course.

“It will also require the validation of the certification which has been made by the competent academic authorities of the medical faculties where they were initially admitted in Ukraine. Therefore, by passing out, they will be as good as Indian medical graduates and not foreign medical graduates. This will not only be of great help in saving them all from their uncertain fate and future, but will also go a long way toward addressing a larger human cause in the most appropriate way,” the statement read.

“The above-mentioned proposition is drawn on the basis of an explicit modality which is used in the Indian context in the event of the closure of an ongoing medical school in India, whereby the students already admitted there are properly distributed among d ‘other medical colleges in India in terms of a structured procedure which is prescribed and the same is considered as a single exception not to be cited as a priority and interpreted as an increase or increase in the annual admission capacity of admission medical school in any way,” the IMA said.


Senior Indian government sources said that implementing this would require an amendment to the NMC Act and regulations.

The government, if it wishes, could introduce an ordinance. “The government can pass an order for these students to be accommodated. The government and medical schools both need to take a call. It is a complex process,” said Dr Jayesh Lele, IMA Secretary General.

“Almost 18,000 to 20,000 students were in different years… The idea is that Indian students went to study in Ukraine because there are less places here in India. We also have a shortage of doctors revealed by the Covid pandemic,” he said.

An Indian student studying in Ukraine who fled the conflict embraces his relatives after arriving in New Delhi. (Photo: AP)

Seats for each year are allocated by the NMC. 75,000 students are admitted to various MBBS colleges, more than 500 of them in India.

Dr Mukesh Batra, Founder of Dr Batra’s Group, said, “India has given the world some of the brightest minds, which is a matter of pride. However, India currently has only 18,000 practicing doctors. Due to the lack of affordable medical education infrastructure in the country, we are losing our much needed medical brain trust to other countries. I would like to ask the government to invest in the construction of health education institutions in the country, which will make medical education more accessible and also reduce the burden on the existing health system.

“Also, since many of these students were in the middle of their medical training, it would greatly help these students if the government could allow them to pick up where they left off and continue their studies in India, instead of having to start from scratch,” he added.

“Furthermore, most of these students chose to study in a country like Ukraine due to the high cost of medical education in the country. The government can help them with financial aid in the form of interest-free loans and by generating more scholarship opportunities through which our aspiring doctors will not only receive the best education in the country, but also contribute to our own health care system. We have confidence in the government that it will look after the interests of these students and help strengthen the workforce. This would greatly contribute to a “bimaari mukt bharat,” Dr. Batra concluded.



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