VICTORY: Foreign Medicos to get paid at PGI; AIIMS, JIPMER to follow
Chandigarh: After a long legal battle for seven consecutive years, the foreign resident doctors have finally landed victory, after the Union government directed Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER) and other medical institutions of national importance to pay them salaries just like any other medical professional.
Stating that these doctors work equally hard and deserve salaries, PGIMER Director Dr Jagat Ram confirmed the good news to the media, "All foreign nationals, who are not sponsored, will get salaries from now on. The government has approved their demand and within a day, we will sign the orders for implementation."
Meanwhile, the other two prominent medical institutes, All India Institutes of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) and Jawaharlal Institute of Postgraduate Medical Education and Research (JIPMER) will tag along once they get the letter to initiate the implementation of the order.
There are 668 seats for junior residents (MD/MS), of which 10% (66) are reserved for foreign nationals at the PGIMER. Currently, 58 seats are filled, out of which 50 junior residents are from Nepal, one from Sri Lanka and two from Canada besides other nations. Apart from them, there are 13 foreign senior residents at the institute, reports HT.
It has been reported that even though these foreign resident doctors worked like any other resident doctor, over 12 hours a day, in these top medical institutes, they were paid nothing. This implies that for so many years, they were doing "free labour" while their Indian counterparts would earn anywhere between Rs 70,000 and Rs 1 lakh per month.
However, now, with this union government's order in power, the junior resident doctors will be paid Rs 80,000 salary per month and the senior residents will get Rs 1 lakh per month.
The battle for this reasonable demand of salary started from the year 2013 when doctors from Nepal working in AIIMS moved the court for not treating them at par with the Indian resident doctors in terms of salary.
"The single bench judgement was decided in our favour. But the AIIMS moved an appeal before a double bench. The case is still pending," Dr Sagar Poudel, a Nepalese junior resident at AIIMS, who was the one to raise the issue for the first time with his country's Prime Minister (PM).
"We had approached the Nepal PM recently in this regard. The issue got settled within three months after Nepal PM took up the issue with his Indian counterpart," Dr Poudel added while talking to TOI.
It was pointed out that Nepal has been paying equivalent stipends to all the international medical students in institutions in the country. "But we were denied the benefits here," Dr Bipin Kumar Yadav, junior resident, Executive Member of Association of Resident Doctors (ARD) added.
Stating the reason as to why they are working for free, Dr Neeraj Kumar Sha, Senior Resident, Department of Plastic Surgery said, "It was the international repute that made us compete for the entrance here."
Meanwhile, Dr Jagat Ram told HT that at present, only junior residents have been entitled to salary, and he will be cross-checking with the authorities concerned whether the benefit extends to senior residents as well.
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