A group of Indian students enrolled for medicine in China fear cancellation of their degree if they are unable to return to China by June this year to finish their mandatory 12-month internship. The students have been in India for the past two years unable to return to China due to COVID restrictions. China stipulates that they finish their course by 8 to 10 years (depending on the time-period allocated by their universities). They have now taken to social media requesting for a solution.
“We are seeking help from both the Indian government and through our universities the Chinese authorities to find a solution to our problem. If we are unable to return immediately we would like an extension for completion of our course. We have invested a lot of time and money and it will all go waste otherwise,’’ said Vimal (name changed), a student from China. He adds that the 2013 batch, which is the worst hit, must start their one year internship by June or face cancellation of their certificate.
‘No positive response’
“Southeast University, China, Guizhou Medical University etc ask for completion of degree by 10 years and we have written to all authorities concerned to take immediate action to help us earn our degrees. We haven’t heard or got a positive response so far and are wary of the turn of events,’’ said Piyush from Andhra Pradesh. Mr. Piyush returned to India two years ago and says he is hoping to finish his course and come back to work in India.
The Health Ministry has so far maintained that the matter has to be addressed by the Ministry of External Affairs. The affected students note that those from Ukraine have already got the benefit of the Central government’s intervention.
Sanjay Bhutani, director, Medical Technology Association of India, speaking on the condition of Indian medical students coming in from Ukraine, says the uncertainty a war brings is taking a toll on the Indian students studying medicine in Ukraine. “But the National Medical Commission (NMC) has stepped in easing the requirements for medical graduates on the 12-month necessary internship programme in their respective institutes by allowing them to continue their remaining internship in India. This is a welcome move,’’ he said.
“Ukraine-like situation highlights the state of precariousness that Indian students studying medicine outside the country face. Effective solutions in the form of medical student exchange programmes / off-campus or online classes to continue medical education should be sought,’’ said Dr. Rimy Dey, committee head, PG Studies, Indian Medical Association Junior Doctors Network (IMA-JDN). She added that the government and other competent authorities, association of medical students and teachers should join together and come up with a strong and effective solution.