Published: 19th January 2023
FMGs in Haryana and Punjab forced to pay exorbitant fees for internships, despite government ban
The FMGs have filed a petition in the Supreme Court, which is set to be heard on January 25, to demand that the two-year internship mandate be scrapped
The National Medical Commission (NMC) has retrospectively mandated two years of internship instead of one for Foreign Medical Graduates (FMGs). But are state governments compliant? Dr Chandraveer Rathore, a former student of Guangxi University, China, highlights the plight of FMGs in Punjab and Haryana, from where he belongs and works.
"When NMC brought out the 2-year internship notice, many FMGs had already completed a year of their internship, and the medical colleges refused to allow them to continue further. We approached many MPs, who wrote in our support to the higher officials," he said. Dr Rathore added that the students personally met authorities at the Union Health Ministry, after which the state health departments were asked to comply and allow an additional year of internship to the concerned FMGs.
"In Haryana, about 11-12 seats in each government college were allotted to a few FMGs, but the rest were left to look for opportunities in private hospitals," Dr Rathore explained. He mentions that though the government had asked colleges not to take any extra fee from the students, the private colleges in Haryana, followed by those in Punjab, flouted this norm.
"In the name of miscellaneous fees, students are being charged Rs 1-2 lakh for their internships. The colleges are also not giving any receipts for these fees. About 5,000-6,000 students are affected here," Dr Rathore said. "There should be a mechanism to check if the state medical councils are following NMC rules," he added.
The FMGs have been demanding that the two-year internship mandate be scrapped. They have filed a petition in the Supreme Court, which is set to be heard on January 25, along with the pleas of Indian medical students from China, Ukraine, Russia and the Phillippines, who have not been allowed to complete their internships. "We are hoping for a favourable judgement," Dr Rathore says.