Published: 22nd November 2022
TN: Government order for FMG internship fee waiver to be released this week
FMGs met TN's Principal Secretary of Health & Family Welfare who informed that the internship fee waiver GO will be released by this week
The long-awaited Government Order (GO) for the internship fee waiver for the Foreign Medical Graduates (FMG) of Tamil Nadu will be released by this week. The FMGs met with TN's Principal Secretary of Health & Family Welfare today, November 21. "They assured me that the GO will be released by the end of this week," says Dr Senthil Kumar, Secretary of the Tamil Nadu Medical Students’ Association (TNMSA) - FMG wing, adding, “This comes as a relief for us and will ensure the commencement of our internships by December this year.” Dr Kumar passed his exam 11 months ago and is still awaiting an internship opportunity.
To recall, FMGs had to pay Rs 2 lakh in fees for a no-objection certificate to complete their Compulsory Rotatory Residential Internship (CRRI) at government medical colleges. However, on March 4. 2022, the National Medical Commission (NMC) published guidelines for the registration of Foreign Medical Graduates (FMGs), making it clear that they cannot be charged for their CRRI training and that they will receive the same stipend and other perks as Indian medical graduates. The choice lessened the load on the FMGs who did not receive compensation for their labour.
Following the orders of the NMC, the Tamil Nadu government announced a 90% reduction in fees but no official order has been published to support this. On July 29, Ma Subramanian, State Health and Family Welfare Minister, declared that the FMGs would now just have to pay Rs 30,000. The FMG students already have a financial burden resting on their heads after completing their six-year medical programme overseas. They also have to pass the FMGE (Foreign Medical Graduate Examination) to be eligible to practise medicine in India, which takes an additional year. The delay with the GO was thus adding to the anguish of the students.
Protests and assurance
The FMGs have been holding demonstrations since the beginning of November to call on the state government to issue a government order waiving their fees as announced in July. Finally, now, they breathe sighs of relief as they get the assurance of the GO. “We are very happy and waiting for the update; hopefully this will be the end of our wait,” adds Dr Kumar