UK may soon recognise Indian medical degrees

DNA | 2007-06-13

NEW DELHI: Indian doctors may soon be able to practice in Britain without having to go through a series of qualifying exams, with a consensus on the issue reached at a meeting of the Health Care Working Group of the UK-India Joint Economic Trade Committee (JETCO) on June 6.

The working group had proposed that medical degrees from reputed institutions be recognised by both the countries on a case by case basis as it would cut out years of qualifying examinations, besides ease rules governing issue of visa to the recognised degree-holders.

Once accepted by the both governments, even qualified doctors from UK would be able to practise in India.

The proposal would now be put before JETCO in the first week of July prior to its presentation to the two governments.

JETCO is co-chaired by India's Commerce and Industry Minister Kamal Nath and British Trade Minister Alistair Darling.

Significantly, Health Care Working Group is co-chaired by UK government official David Hawkins and Fortis Managing Director Shivinder Mohan Singh, who also heads FICCI's health care committee. JETCO's Health Care Working Group is being co-ordinated from India by FICCI.

"JETCO's own working group has reached a consensus and the ball has started rolling,"said FICCI Secretary General Amit Mitra.

At present, immigrant doctors are required to take professional and linguistic assessment board test and nurses are required to clear qualifying exams to register with the Nurses and Midwife Council in the UK.

Both Medical Council of India (MCI) and The British General Medical Council (GMC) stopped recognising each other's medical degrees over 3O years back.

Mitra said if the governments agree on the proposal, both the nations would benefit. India in the coming 2-3 years would need more experts and medical specialists since the demand in corporate hospitals is going up.

It will also help Britain to address the problem of human resource crunch in this area.

"India will gain from knowledge-sharing and medical tourism will also get a boost from this initiative," he added.


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