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Philippines Complies with NMC Guidelines: A Game-Changer for Medical Professionals
In recent months, the Philippines has made significant strides in complying with the Foreign Medical Licentiate Regulation (FMGL 2021) set forth by the National Medical Commission (NMC). This compliance has addressed two major issues faced by foreign medical graduates seeking opportunities in the country. The Philippines, through the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) and the Professional Registration Commission (PRC), has taken important steps to ensure quality medical education and facilitate the registration process for international medical professionals. In this article, we will delve into these developments and explore how they benefit aspiring medical practitioners.
- Extension of MD Course Duration
One of the key concerns raised by the NMC FMGL 2021 was the duration of the MD (MBBS) course. The regulation stated that a minimum of 48 months was required for the completion of this program. In response to this requirement, the CHED affirmed and clarified the recognition of a 54-month Doctor of Medicine curriculum on September 1, 2022. This extension ensures that international students receive the same comprehensive medical education as their Filipino counterparts. By aligning with the NMC guidelines, the Philippines has shown its commitment to maintaining educational standards and providing a solid foundation for medical professionals.
- Inclusion of Internship Provision
Another issue highlighted by the NMC FMGL 2021 was the absence of an internship provision for foreign medical graduates. Recognizing the importance of practical experience, the CHED implemented a one-year medical internship post MD course, in line with the guidelines set by the Indian Medical Council. This internship period allows graduates to gain valuable hands-on experience, enhancing their clinical skills and preparing them for the challenges of medical practice. By incorporating this requirement, the Philippines has addressed the concern raised by the NMC and demonstrated its dedication to producing competent medical professionals.
- Eligibility for Registration and Practice
On March 30, 2023, the PRC provided a significant update regarding the eligibility of foreign medical graduates for registration and practice in the Philippines. The PRC certified that a foreign student who has received an MD degree from a college of Medicine recognized by CHED is eligible for registration and practice, in accordance with the provisions of the Philippines Medical Act of 1959. This announcement has opened doors for international medical professionals, granting them the opportunity to pursue their careers in the Philippines. It signifies a major milestone in the efforts to align with NMC guidelines and further strengthens the country’s healthcare system.
- The Absence of Law of Reciprocity
While the recent developments have been encouraging, one challenge that remains is the absence of a law of reciprocity between India and the Philippines. This issue came to light on May 26, 2023, when the Indian embassy informed Indian nationals that the guidelines regarding reciprocity have not yet been implemented. However, according to the colleges and CHED, a potential solution lies in the issuance of a registration slip to Indian nationals who have applied to the PRC for registration via the Philippines Licensure exam. This registration slip would allow them to take the licensing exam and, upon passing, obtain permanent registration to practice medicine in the Philippines on par with local citizens.
The Philippines’ compliance with the NMC FMGL 2021 guidelines marks a significant turning point for foreign medical graduates seeking opportunities in the country. The extension of the MD course duration, inclusion of an internship provision, and eligibility for registration and practice have addressed several key concerns outlined by the NMC. While challenges related to the absence of a law of reciprocity persist, the issuance of a registration slip presents a potential solution. These developments not only benefit international medical professionals but also contribute to enhancing the overall healthcare system in the Philippines. With these progressive changes, the Philippines is solidifying its position as an attractive destination for aspiring medical practitioners for MBBS Abroad worldwide.