The Federation of Medical Students in Taiwan said yesterday it planned to protest at the Control Yuan this morning against a decision by the Ministry of Examination to allow 35 medical students graduating in Poland to join this year’s national qualification examinations for physicians and dentists.
The federation issued a press release criticizing the ministry for backtracking on a resolution it passed on July 9 that disqualified the 35 medical graduates from taking part in the examinations.
The federation said the decision violated Article 2 of the Physician’s Act (醫師法), which only allows medical graduates from Taiwan and abroad who have completed their internships to join the examinations.
The federation accused the ministry of neglecting its duty and putting the health of Taiwanese at risk.
Medical students in Taiwan have questioned the quality of medical education in Poland and demand that all graduates who obtain medical diplomas abroad take a qualification examination and complete internships in Taiwanese hospitals.
A proposed amendment on the issues is still pending review at the legislature.
However, the ministry’s Review Committee of Physicians’ and Dentists’ Examinations decided on July 9 that only 14 medical students with Polish medical diplomas who failed to pass Taiwan’s examinations before could take part again this year.
The committee excluded the other 35 registrants with Polish medical diplomas from the examinations because their internships in Poland were not accepted by the ministry as actual practical training.
The resolution immediately drew criticism from the applicants and their parents.
As a result, the ministry on Wednesday reversed the ban and accepted all medical students who obtained their diplomas in Poland for the examinations.
The committee permitted the 35 graduates to join the examinations as long as they sign an administrative contract with the ministry agreeing to complete an internship in Taiwan after passing the examinations.
Lin Kuang-chi (林光基), secretary-general of the ministry, defended the decision, saying that the committee had garnered the Department of Health’s support before changing its decision.