Rise in NRI doctors returning to practice in India

There is a steady rise in the number of NRI doctors going to India for short stints of medical service, since the Centre last June, announced a series of measures to woo NRI doctors, including permissions provided within 15 days, for short stints of medical service and a proposal by the Union health ministry to allow doctors with OCI status to practice in the country. The Medical Council of India (MCI) has eased norms expediting the revised process, as earlier only Indian citizens were permitted to practice in the country while NRI doctors were permitted to work only at teaching or research and for charitable purposes. Last month the MCI received 151 applications from NRI doctors to which no objection certificates were granted, and in 2013-14 the number of such applicants was 1,278. The revised expedited process has been implemented and the MCI has asked applicants to get their verifications done by bodies such as the American Association of Physicians of Indian Origin, AAPI, which is the largest forum of ethnic medical professionals in the US, with 138 local chapters. It is estimated that the US has nearly 50,000 doctors of Indian origin.