Non Payment of stipend, withholding documents after availing service from MD, MS students are Illegal: NMC
New Delhi: In a major move, the National Medical Commission (NMC) has now declared that not paying a stipend to the residents for their service and refusing to relieve them by holding their documents after completion of their tenure are "Illegal".
Issuing an advisory in this regard, the Apex medical education regulatory body, NMC has clarified that,
1. Wherever the examinations are not yet over, the Postgraduate students should be paid the stipend till their services are availed.
2. Wherever the examinations have been held and the results are declared, the successful MD/MS and DM/M.Ch candidates shall be designated as Senior Residents and Assistant Professors, respectively, and be paid accordingly.
3. If the Institutes do not want their services, they should be relieved and all their documents should be returned.
Such a move on the part of the NMC has come after the students started complaining that despite their three-year residency being completed their Institutes were withholding their documents and also were not paying them their due stipend.
Medical Dialogues had earlier reported that due to the delay in the conduction of NEET PG 2021 and all other medical examinations across the medical institutions, all the PG medical students were asked by NMC to continue their services as resident doctors until a fresh batch of MBBS graduates joins to serve. The decision had been taken to ensure that there would not be any shortage of Residents to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic.
Later the Prime Minister's Office declared the postponement of NEET-PG entrance and it was decided that the PG residents would continue to work amidst the Covid-19 pandemic.
Since then, NMC and Union Health Ministry has received several representations from medical fraternity across the country requesting to expedite the process of conducting the pending NEET-PG exam and to count the additional period of service as Senior Residency.
Recently, the PG final year examinations have also been conducted and many of the students have also received their mark sheets as well.
Taking note of the situation, the NMC has now come to the aid of these PG residents and in an advisory dated 09.08.2021, the national medical regulator has declared the non-payment of stipends and holding the documents of PG students after their tenure completion as "illegal".
"The COVID 19 has disrupted the examination schedules of medical education in the country for the last one and a half year. This has put lot of stress on the Medical students. The NEET Examination was postponed, delaying the arrival of fresh batch of Postgraduate students. Many Universities could not hold the examination for the final year Postgraduate students. In this background advisory was issued by the NMC, facilitating the institutes, to utilize the services of the MD/ MS students who had finished their term of three years, till the arrival of the fresh batch of students. It was clearly mentioned that they should be paid the stipend and hostel facilities should be continued. This was done to augment the medical man power during the pandemic," mentioned NMC in the recent advisory.
"Unfortunately, we have received many complaints from the students that many Institutes are refusing to pay the stipend after their term is over and are also not relieving them. They are holding their documents. This is illegal," added the apex medical regulator.
While commenting on this development, Dr. Karan Juneja, National Secretary of IMA JDN told Medical Dialogues, "We are extremely thankful to the NMC for the recent advisory which would help solve the problems that the PG resident doctors are facing throughout the country. We also hope for a discussion with the NMC regarding the new PG education policy so that the differences of opinion can be solved easily."
"We are extremely delighted that after a lot of efforts and letters from our the Federation of All India Medical Association (FAIMA) and other RDAs, the NMC has released advisory to consider MD/MS graduates as SRs and DM/Mch Graduates as Assistant Professors. I thank NMC from behalf of our residents. Congratulations to all Doctors!" added Dr. Rakesh Bagdi, President of FAIMA.
Dr. Manish, President of FORDA said, "We are very thankful to NMC for considering the hard work of the resident doctors who have given their best during the pandemic. It was a genuine demand as during the PG course, they have given more than 1 year for the COVID patients."
"However, they have not mentioned anything about the DNB doctors regarding this. So, we have written to NBE also about this," he added.
To read the NMC advisory, click on the link below.