"If the bill is passed, it will benefit students from India the most," says Vinod K. Shah, President, American Association of Physicians of Indian Origin.

The United States administration is likely to introduce a bill in the Senate and the Congress to remove the federal cap on the intake of medical students, according to the Association of Physicians of Indian Origin (AAPI), a body of physicians of Indian-origin in India. This would benefit international students, including those from India.

According to Vinod K. Shah of the AAPI, President Barack Obama has assured the association that his government would introduce the bill to add an additional 15,000 residency slots.

This has been a long-standing demand of the AAPI to increase residency slots for medical graduates to facilitate more international students join post-graduate courses, Dr. Shah told journalists at the Global Healthcare Summit here on Saturday.

The maximum intake of students by various U.S. universities at present is 18,000 seats, of which around 16,000 are reserved for the U.S. citizens, leaving only 2,000 for international students.

“If the bill is passed, it will benefit the students from India the most as they constitute about 30 to 40 per cent of the total international students selected to study in the U.S.,” Dr. Shah said.

Recognition of courses

The move is also expected to benefit India as it recently started recognising post-graduate medical courses obtained by Indian-origin students of five countries: the U.S., U.K., Canada, Australia and New Zealand.

“An official notification has been recently passed and included in the gazette to recognise PG medical courses certificates obtained by NRI students from these countries,” Ketan Desai, President of the Medical Council of India, said. The move is to avail the services of students who receive expert training in these countries. They can start practising in India without going through any more tests, Mr. Desai added.

This year, the AAPI has roped in the British Association of Physicians of Indian Origin (BAPIO) and top-notch Indian medical professional associations to make the summit a truly global one.

The summit will share best practices and experience from leading experts around the world to develop actionable plans for launching demonstration projects. The focus will be on prevention, treatment and management of “priority disease states” in India with measurable metrics to ensure that the plans are viable.

It also aims at bringing together some of the world’s most renowned experts to focus on priority disease states such as allergy, immunology, cardiovascular, diabetes, infectious disease (HIV/AIDS), emergency medicine, mental health, and maternal and child health. The summit will have a wider global perspective with the addition of medical tourism and health information technology.

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