Students to qualify NEET to study medicine abroad

New Delhi: The Union Health Ministry on Tuesday extended the rule to qualify common national entrance examination NEET for students wanting to study medical course within India to include those who aspire to pursue MBBS in a foreign country.

“It is now mandatory to qualify NEET (National Eligibility cum Entrance Test) to pursue foreign medical course,” said the Ministry of Health in a statement.

Currently, students wishing to study medicine in any government or private medical college within the country have to clear NEET, which came into existence in 2016. And, those pursuing medical education abroad have to qualify a screening test called Foreign Medical Graduates Exam (FMGE) for registration to practice in India after obtaining primary medical qualification (MBBS) overseas.

“It has come to notice that medical institutions/ universities of foreign countries admit Indian students without proper assessment or screening of the students’ academic ability to cope up with medical education with the result that many students fail to qualify the screening test,” said the ministry.

Approving the Medical Council of India (MCI)’s proposal to amend the Screening Test Regulations 2002, the Health Ministry said: “Thus, the Indian citizens/ overseas citizen of India intending to obtain primary medical qualification from any medical institution outside India, on or after May 2018, shall have to mandatorily qualify the NEET for admission to MBBS course abroad.”

The result of NEET would be deemed to be treated as the eligibility certificate for such persons, provided that such persons fulfil the eligibility criteria for admission to the MBBS course prescribed in the Regulations on Graduate Medical Education, 1997, the statement added.