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Doctors with foreign backgrounds may get a strong ease to practice in India, as the government is mulling over to allow foreign doctors to practice in the country without the need of any examination. A news report points out that the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare is all set to give the nod to Medical Council of India (MCI) to begin registration of doctors without any test. The proposal vetted by Ministry of Law and Justice will soon be notified. The reasoning behind this move has been pointed out to be strengthening the human resource requirements of the health sector, which currently suffers from a shortage of more than lakh doctors. Till now, the current policy calls for only Indian citizen doctors with foreign degrees to practice. This comes after clearing the mandatory Foreign Medical Graduates Examination that is required to secure an MCI registration and hence practice in the country. However, the performance of students in the exam has been quite dismal with an average 77 per cent Indian students who returned with a foreign medical degree since 2004 failing to clear the mandatory screening examination conducted by MCI. Meanwhile, foreign doctors have been allowed to study in India and if required MCI would give them temporary registration, following which they can practice in any hospital here. IE adds that the new rule is expected to widen the scope to include doctors from other countries apart from the USA, Canada, UK, New Zealand and Australia whose doctors are allowed to practice as per provisions. While the move is expected to benefit thousands of doctors who are unable to practice in the country, for the want of clearing the MCI test, it remains to be seen how the move would help in solving the manpower crisis in the rural health centers of the country.

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