Haryana: Al-Falah School of Medical Sciences' interns protesting against non-payment of stipend suspended

While the act of suspension has been derided by doctors' associations, an RTI has been filed to look into the functioning of several medical colleges in Haryana over non-payment of stipends to interns.
Al-Falah University suspends MBBS interns for protesting
Al-Falah University suspends MBBS interns for protesting(Source: EdexLive Desk)

The Al-Falah School of Medical Sciences and Research Centre, under Al-Falah University in Haryana's Faridabad, has come under fire. What is the reason?

On May 16, Thursday, the university passed an order that the MBBS interns completing their Compulsory Rotating Medical Internship (CRMI) in the college shall be temporarily suspended until further orders.

Furthermore, they were directed to vacate their hostels by 4 pm on the same day.

"The Management is constrained to take a decision to temporarily suspend the MBBS compulsory rotating medical internship with immediate effect until further orders on account of their involvement in an act of indiscipline," read the order. 

The official order by Al-Falah University further stated that the MBBS students were "misguided" by a few miscreants, who disrupted the smooth functioning of the college and despite the administration lending an ear to their issues, they resorted to strike.

Suspension order issued by the Al-Falah University
Suspension order issued by the Al-Falah University(Source: EdexLive Desk)

Stipends, fees, infrastructure, and other problems

The undergraduate (UG) and the postgraduate (PG) doctors are on strike at the Al Falah Medical College. The doctors claim that they have not been paid the agreed-upon stipend as deemed by the state government. The PG doctors further allege that the college has mandated them to pay fees for the next year in advance.

The United Doctors Front Association (UDFA) President, Dr Lakshya Mittal informed EdexLive that the PG doctors who were admitted to the medical college in the November/December session had to pay the fees for a year. Six months into the course, they were again asked to pay fees for the next year in advance.

The National Council Coordinator for the Indian Medical Association - Junior Doctors Network (IMA-JDN), Dr Dhruv Chauhan, calls the order an "open harassment happening against the doctors of the Nation." Via his tweet on the social media platform X, Dr Chauhan shared, "The government of Haryana had issued a letter with a stipend of ₹17000 for MBBS interns, but they are saying that letter isn’t for them."

As per a notice dated April 30, 2024, by the Director General Medical Education & Research DMER), Haryana, Panchkula to the NC Medical College and Hospital, Panipat, "As per the State Govt. orders issued vide Memo No. 07/16/2018-2HB-IV dated 24.07.2018 the current internship stipend to MBBS/BDS interns is Rs 17000/- per month," states the notice, but the intern doctors allege that the amount they have received is not at par with the government issued order.

Dr Mittal says that not only the non-payment of stipends to the interns is becoming a larger issue, but the National Medical Commission (NMC) granting permits to these hospitals to run when they lack adequate infrastructure is a big question.

"According to the students at Al-Falah, there is no sufficient tertiary care equipment, the hospital does not have an Intensive Care Unit (ICU), and the hostels are in a dilapidated condition. How are they even getting the license to function?" expressed the UDFA president.

To address the issue, an RTI was filed seeking information from NMC on May 16.

RTI filed seeking information from NMC
Taking into consideration that these colleges in Haryana, namely, Al Falah Medical College Faridabad; NC Medical College, Panipat; and World Medical College, Jhajjar are allegedly not paying sufficient stipends to the interns, hence, a list of information was sought from the NMC.

1) Copies of complaints received against these medical colleges in the last three years including non-payment of stipend and the action taken to resolve the issue.

2) Details of the stipend paid by these medical colleges from January 2024 to date.

3) Reports of assessment and rating conducted by the MARB (Medical Assessment and Rating Board) and deficiencies found in these colleges including shortage of a proper number of faculties, doctors, and staff as well other infrastructure and hostel-related facilities.

Today, Friday, May 17, the students at Al-Falah University will meet the administration to conclude the stipend issue. EdexLive is awaiting a statement from the students of the university. 

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