The attention of the group of Concerned Parents of Ukraine Medical Graduates of 2022 have been drawn to series of newspaper publications in form of interviews and public opinions by experts in which several misrepresentations in respect of medical degree certificates issued by Ukraine medical schools from 2022 were discussed.
It would be recalled that in June 2022, the Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria in its advertorial in a national daily informed the general public that Medical and Dental Degree Certificates issued by Medical Schools from Ukraine from 2022 will NOT be honoured by the Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria
Following this advertorial, the concerned parents view this decision by the MDCN Registrar to ask weather the six years of study in Ukraine is too short a period for training.
He stated that in 2017, a former Provost of a College of Medicine in Nigeria and a member of the board of examiners identified six of his former students that were withdrawn from the medical programme here in Nigeria, and who went abroad and then were granted MD degrees when their colleagues that did not fail in Nigeria are still in final year in the medical school.
The registrar should be able to state the name of the Provost and also confirm whether the former students eventually passed the examination in 2017 or thereafter.
It will be fair to these students if the Registrar could tell us from his investigation in order to confirm whether he is telling the whole world the truth.
It is ironical that the Registrar could misinform the public that those who do not have a science background are usually admitted and graduated with an MD degree and that many of those with science backgrounds had very weak scores.
Similarly, he also stated that we all know that in Nigeria, some with even five distinctions may not be able to get admitted into the medical programme.
In all honesty, can the Registrar vouch that all those who obtained distinctions were able to justify such in Post UTME and their subsequent performance while in medical schools?
Thank God that the Registrar is a medical doctor hence, can he tell the whole world if all those who were admitted with distinctions in his set were better than him? The answer to these questions would certainly support his claim. Otherwise; it is an unfair submission.
The Registrar made reference to Ghana that doctors who studied outside Ghana and failed the mandatory registration examination after five attempts will be rendered ineligible to practice in Ghana.
It was advanced that this policy was agreed upon in 2018 after a consultative engagement concerning stakeholders and is to take effect in 2022.
The question now is did Ghana Medical Council state that medical degree certificate of Ukraine from 2022 will not be recognized? The answer is no; Ghana Medical Council has recognised Ukraine medical degree certificate of 2022 and the graduates are eligible to write the assessment examination in due course.
This can be confirmed from Ghana Embassy in Nigeria or Nigerian Embassy in Ghana.
In the case of India, the registrar said that currently, the ruling by India’s Supreme Court is that foreign MBBS holders can’t be given provisional registration to complete their internship in India without completing the clinical training in physical form.
We make bold to say with due respect that this is totally incorrect but a misrepresentation of the true position of India National Medical Commission.
The MDCN may wish to know that following the Supreme Court ruling, the National Medical Commission of India issued a Public Notice vide reference: NMC/20659(Legal)/2022/UGMEB/ Dated the 28th July 2022 which gave recognition to medical degree certificates issued by Ukraine in 2022. Copy of the Public Notice is reproduced below.
“National Medical Commission (Undergraduate Medical Education Board No.NMC/20659(Legal)/2022/UGMEB/ Dated the 28th July 2022PUBLIC NOTICEIn pursuance to the order dated 29.04.2022 passed by the Hon’ble Supreme Court of India In SLP No.2536-37 of 2022, it is Informed that the Indian students who were In the last year of undergraduate medicine course (due to COVlD-19, Russia -Ukraine war etc had to leave their foreign medical institute and return to India) and have subsequently completed their studies as also have been granted certificate of completion of course degree by their respective Institute, on or before 30th June 2022, shall be permitted to appear in Foreign Medical Graduate Examination.
Thereafter, upon qualifying the FMG examination, such foreign medical graduates are required to undergo Compulsory Rotating Medical Internship (CRMI) for a period of two years to make up for the clinical training which could not be physically attended by them during the undergraduate medicine course in the foreign institute as also to familiarize them with practice of medicine under Indian conditions.
The foreign medical graduates will be eligible to get registration only after completing the CRMI for two years. The above relaxation granted to the foreign medical students is a “one time measure” and shall not be treated as “precedence in the future”.
Hence, the true position as at today is that the National Medical Commission of India has recognised medical degrees certificate of Ukraine issued on or before 30th June 2022 and the graduates have already registered and would be writing the assessment examination in December 2022.
The Public Notice can be confirmed from either the Indian Embassy in Nigeria or the Nigerian Embassy in India.
The MDCN may also verify this from its similar body, the National Medical Commission of India. Furthermore, it is unfair for the Registrar to misinform the public that Ukraine government took their own citizens to United Kingdom to complete their training programme.
This is far from the truth as nothing of this nature happened. A confirmation from the Ukrainian Embassy denied this statement outright. The embassy also took total objection to the statement by the MDCN Registrar that the Ukrainian Government is fraudulent in its medical programme as reported in one of the dailies. They promised to take up this with appropriate authority accordingly.
The Registrar claimed that he visited Cyprus where he was told by Nigerian students that some lecturers could not express themselves in English, so they just changed to their local language during lectures. Also, they don’t do the same examination as the indigenes. If one may ask, is Cyprus the same as Ukraine? Has the Registrar or his representatives been to Ukraine to ascertain what he has been pushing out to the general public on medical training in Ukraine? More disturbing is the persistent claim that Ukraine medical training is online. In good conscience and the fear of God, can the MDCN Registrar say that for all the period five years 10 months before the outbreak of the war that the current 2022 medical graduates studied were all “online”? Indeed and for the sake of posterity it is unfair for the Registrar to keep feeding the public with this false information that Ukraine medical schools conduct their training online.
In the Registrar’s statement, he stated that those who do not have science background are usually admitted and graduated with an MD degree. This is unfortunate. The question here is were such graduates allowed to write the assessment examination? If yes then something must have gone wrong in MDCN because there are stipulated and compulsory basic requirements for registration for the examination. Whoever did not have the basic science requirements for admission into medical programme should have been disqualified outright.
This should not form the basis for the innocent ones who were eminently qualified for admission and have graduated from world recognised medical institutions to have their career and destiny truncated by the current unfair decision by MDCN.
On the issue of poor performance in the MDCN assessment examination, the unfair castigation of graduates from Ukraine medical schools is indeed unfortunate.
In as much as one may agree to some extent with this position, it is not enough to assert that only graduates from Ukraine often fail the examination. Basically, Ukraine graduates are often the largest in number of candidates for each examination session courtesy of obvious reasons.
Hence, on few occasions, they may form the bulk of those that failed relative to their large number. It is crystal clear that in the November 2020 and June 2021 MDCN assessment examinations, the overall performances were about 75 and 83 % respectively. Ukraine graduates recorded over 70% pass in each of the two examinations.
The MDCN in all honesty may wish to crosscheck its record and possibly publish the names of those who passed these two examinations indicating the names of candidates, country and school of graduation.
Therefore, attributing mass failure to Ukraine medical graduates in its assessment examination is very unfair and unfortunate. It is pertinent to mention that the MDCN Registrar and some so-called medical experts have continued to also feed the public with half truths that denigrate the credibility of the academic standard of only Ukraine medical school. It is incorrect for the Registrar to state that the medium of expression in Ukraine is not English.
The public should please note that foreign medical students in Ukraine are taught in English Language and all their lecturers hold Cambridge English Proficiency Certificate.
The foreign students and their Ukrainian counterparts do exactly the same examination apart from their own questions being in Ukrainian Language.
Some Ukraine students who intend to practice outside their country even attend the English medium for foreign students. The same certificate is also issued to both Ukrainian and foreign medical graduates and is authenticated by the Nigerian Embassy in Ukraine for the Nigerian students for Nigerians.
The medical degrees are recognised worldwide as all medical schools in Ukraine are listed in the World Directory of Medical Schools, which MDCN have been using to verify medical degree certificates through Electronic Portfolio of International Credentials for those who wish to write its assessment examination.
The reason why foreign medical graduates could not practice in Ukraine is mainly due to the difficulty in securing Permanent Residence Permit Card which is a common phenomenon globally.
It is not due to the claim by MDCN that Ukrainian Government or Medical Council does not allow foreign medical graduates to practice their profession in the country. Additionally, it is also iniquitous for the Registrar to misinform the public that Ukrainian Government took their own final year citizens to United Kingdom to complete their training programme. This is far from the truth as nothing of this nature happened.
A confirmation from the Ukrainian Embassy in Nigeria denied this statement outright and also took total objection to the statement that the Ukrainian Government is fraudulent.
They promised to take up this with the appropriate authourity. Furthermore, it is instructive to note that in all the misinformation being peddled by MDCN Registrar in the public domain against Ukraine Medical graduates, there has been no single reference of any confirmation from the Nigerian Embassy in Ukraine. Is it that the MDCN or the Registrar has no confidence in the information that would be provided by the embassy or a deliberate act in furtherance to a premeditated decision to truncate the career and destiny of our young children by taking advantage of the current unfortunate situation in Ukraine.
The Nigerian Embassy in Ukraine needs to consider making its position known on the current issue through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.The Registrar advanced that MDCN at a point proposed a remediation programme with the hope to brushing foreign trained medical graduates up in order to enhance their clinical training.
He further stated that parents took the matter to the National Assembly and this idea of the remediation programme was shot down in view of the so-called financial burden on the parents. It may interest the general public that up to 2017, the MDCN used to organise remediation programme for 4 months for foreign trained medical graduates before writing the assessment examination.
However, after the remediation and examination conducted by University of Ilorin Teaching Hospital, the Registrar of MDCN unilaterally canceled the subsequent conduct of the remediation course. It is ironical that today, the Registrar could say that these students of 2022 graduates and their parents petitioned the National Assembly to cancel the programme.
The reintroduction of the remediation programme by MDCN was in 2021 when the parents of those concerned took the matter to the National Assembly.
These set of Ukraine medical graduates of 2022 were still in Ukraine. Why then should the Registrar decide to take his pound of flesh from these innocent ones.
By the way, the set of parents that took the matter to the National Assembly were not totally opposed to the idea of the remediation programme. What were disturbing to them were two main issues of the high cost and security of the locations proposed by MDCN for the programme. Investigations revealed that had MDCN did not take into consideration the general financial constraints of parents in the present state of financial burden in the country,. Perhaps there would have been no objection to the idea by the concerned parents.
Apart from the N900,000.00 proposed, parents would still spend up to N1,000,000.00 on accommodation, transportation, feeding and other miscellaneous making it about N2,000,000.00 to complete the programme of six months.
There were also further charges by MDCN for registration for the assessment examination. Furthermore, the parents were also apprehensive of some of the locations of the centres so proposed in the wave of the prevailing fluid and unpredictable security situation across the country today.
Please note our prayers:
- The public should ask from MDCN registrar if he had known about that all the deficiencies of Ukraine universities, why had he not brought it up since and why now during the war?
- The Registrar should know that his derogatory statement on Ukraine certificate at this time is giving both parents and the students psychological trauma.
- That the registrar should be aware that graduated students from Ukraine in other African countries and India have the same certificate recognised by those countries while he is still stagnant in decision making.
- That the registrar should realise that the 2022 graduates from Ukraine studied for six years in which they studied five years and 10 months offline before the war?, So the remaining 2 months before the war that they did exam online shouldn not be what made them online doctors. Also adding the COVID period to the few months left for students to conclude the section is unfair. The COVID period was a global issue , students in Nigeria had classes online and so it is not peculiar to Ukraine students only. Why should it now be a big case for Ukraine students That Ukraine adopted online training for a couple of months, out of a 6-year intensive physical interactive medical training for the medical students as a result of the on-going war between Ukraine and Russia, and subjected and still subjects the students to hands-on clinical medical practice in medical facilities in countries of their choice, provided they are accepted by such medical facilities, should not be generalized and touted by MDCN as “ONLINE MEDICAL TRAINING.”
- That the registrar should know that presently Ukraine universities have arranged mobility for their students in other countries.
- Hon. Akeem Tajudeen (Chairman)
- Barr. Kelechi Obi (Vice Chairman)
For Concerned Ukraine Students Parents’ Committee