Ukraine-returned medical students face uncertainty

Ukraine-returned medical students face uncertainty

July 27, 2022
  • Future of 30 students from Mysuru hangs in balance
  • Governments, Medical Council not helping after initial assurances

Mysore/Mysuru: Over 30 medical students who returned to Mysuru due to the ongoing war in Ukraine are ruing about their uncertain future. These students returned to India in March and have been attending their classes online, even completing their semesters remotely.

With Ukraine battered economically by war and coping with an uncertain future, it is unlikely that these students would be able to return soon. As a result, the students hope for relief measures from the State and Union Governments. 

Yesterday, the Union Health Ministry said no Indian Medical College would accommodate the Ukraine-returned medical students as no permission was given by the National Medical Commission to transfer or accommodate any foreign medical student in any Indian institute or University. This was stated by Dr. Bharati Pravin Pawar, the Minister of State for Health in a written response in the Rajya Sabha.

“Foreign Medical Students/Graduates are either covered under Screening Test Regulations, 2002 or Foreign Medical Graduate Licentiate Regulations, 2021. There are no such provisions in the Indian Medical Council Act 1956 and the National Medical Commission Act, 2019 as well as in the Regulations to accommodate or transfer medical students from any foreign medical institutes to Indian Medical Colleges,” she said.

No one cares now

Priyanka Guru Mallesh, who came back to Mysuru just before Russia began pounding Ukraine, told Star of Mysore this morning that they were confused about what next.

Priyanka is pursuing her MBBS second year at Bukovinian State Medical University (BSMU) — one of the largest higher educational establishments in Chernivtsi.

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“We have holidays till August end now and I have completed online classes till June. My University is asking me to pay the fees for the next semester. But I am confused about what to do. War is continuing and there is no help or guidance from the Centre and Karnataka Governments. When we came to India, we were assured of all help. But now, no one cares,” she said.

“I came back to Mysuru on March 4 and online classes started around two months. Our next semester will begin online in September, which is just not enough for medical studies. Karnataka Medical Education Minister had assured us of all help including continuing education in Indian colleges, but now, there is no news. When countries like Ghana and Nigeria have absorbed students who returned from Ukraine, why our Governments cannot do the same,” asked another student on condition of anonymity.

P. Sriganesh, a final year student at Zaporizhzhia State Medical University, told SOM that he has completed his online classes till June and now it is a holiday. “I do not know what the ground situation there is as  online classes looked normal. But how long can we sustain only online lessons, I am not sure. Our University has told us that we will have to wait till September so that transfers or continuing education through relocation can be decided,” he said.

Parent concern

Priyanka’s father Guru Mallesh said that the Governments have to take a humanitarian view and come to the rescue of our children. “We have not started the war. This is an unprecedented and unavoidable situation. Initially, when our children came to Mysuru, we had many VIPs coming home including MLAs and MP. All of them assured of help but nothing came through,” he regretted.

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“What is the purpose of bringing Indian students here if their future is uncertain and hangs in balance? This is very unfair. The local MLAs and MPs must exert pressure on Governments to act, instead of being indifferent. In fact, unprecedented situations like these deserve special attention and humanity must prevail,” Guru Mallesh added.


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