Another non-payment of stipend to FMG Supreme Court case? Advocate Tanvi Dubey shares details

The case was represented by Advocate Tanvi Dubey on behalf of FMGs from eight medical colleges in Rajasthan and Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital, New Delhi
The plea draws attention to circulars issued by the National Medical Commission
The plea draws attention to circulars issued by the National Medical CommissionEdexLive Desk

On Wednesday, July 11, the Supreme Court issued notices to the National Medical Commission (NMC), Rajasthan Medical Colleges, and Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital, Delhi, during a hearing, regarding the non-payment of stipends to Foreign Medical Graduates (FMGs), as per a report LiveLaw.

It may be noted that any student who has completed their medical education abroad needs to complete their Compulsory Rotating Medical Internship (CRMI) to practice in India.

When EdexLive reached out to Advocate, Tanvi Dubey, she mentioned that non-payment of stipends is a form of inequality towards FMGs.

“It is clear that their rights have been denied and this shows the inequality meted out towards the doctors of the country. Now, the students are concerned if they should continue with their degrees at all,” said Dubey. 

Advocate Dubey highlighted during the hearing that FMGs from these colleges, whose internships commenced between May and July 2023, are yet to receive their stipends. She also said, "This delay shows a behaviour of inequality towards FMGs."

It may be noted that they do incur significant expenses such as accommodation and travel during their internships.

The plea draws attention to circulars issued by the National Medical Commission, which mandate that FMGs should receive stipends equivalent to those given to Indian Medical Graduates (IMGs). 

Furthermore, the plea states, "They (petitioners) were shocked to note that when they joined the internship, they were forced to give an undertaking on an affidavit that the internship would be without any stipend.”

The plea also mentioned, “While joining the internship, they had no idea that they would have to incur huge day-to-day expenses, including accommodation, travel, etc. They were surprised to note that even the expenses involved in rural posting were required to be incurred by them."

This plea has been tagged with a similar case likely to be taken up on July 26. In addition to this, it may be recalled that the slew of cases started with the Army College of Medical Sciences, Delhi, where the FMGs have similar issues related to stipends. The Supreme Court case hearing took place on February 26.

Alongside this, two more cases are pending before SC associated with the same issue.

FMGs and their grievances 

Dubey highlighted, “Non-payment of stipends will deprive them (FMGs) of their fundamental right of equality, to begin with.”

Furthermore, advocating for students, Tanvi Dubey explained, “Say, if an FMG is completing an internship in central Delhi, the house rent itself will cost nothing less than Rs 20,000-25,000. And these FMGs have to take up internships because it is vital from the point of view of their careers. It is not just an internship, they work as rigorously as a regular doctor does.”

On a concluding note, Dubey stressed that these FMGs work as tirelessly as Indian doctors, yet face discrimination when it comes to stipend payments.

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