FMGs to get Stipend in Punjab, Medical Colleges told to submit proposal to State Medical Council
Chandigarh: Complying with the earlier directions given by the National Medical Commission (NMC), the State Government of Punjab has decided to start paying stipend to the Foreign Medical Graduates (FMGs) who join the medical colleges in the State as MBBS interns.Therefore, the Government medical colleges in the State will not charge any fees from the FMGs for accepting them as interns. In...
Chandigarh: Complying with the earlier directions given by the National Medical Commission (NMC), the State Government of Punjab has decided to start paying stipend to the Foreign Medical Graduates (FMGs) who join the medical colleges in the State as MBBS interns.
Therefore, the Government medical colleges in the State will not charge any fees from the FMGs for accepting them as interns. In fact the medical graduates from abroad will get equal stipend to the Indian trainees.
The confirmation regarding this came from the Punjab Director for Research and Medical Education Dr. Avinash Kumar who informed TOI that the proposal in this regard is pending with the government.
If the Government gives its nod for the proposal, the medical graduates from abroad will get stipend in compliance with the National Medical Commission rules.
Decision in this regard has been taken at the meeting by the President of Punjab Medical Council Dr. Charanjit Singh Pruthi with the heads of all the medical colleges belonging to Punjab and Chandigarh.
Earlier this year, Medical Dialogues had reported that providing major relief to the Foreign Medical Graduates who want to pursue internship in India, NMC had clarified that the Indian medical colleges shall not charge any fees from the medical graduates from abroad for permitting them to do internship in India.
In fact, the apex medical regulator had further made it clear that the FMGs would be paid equal stipend and other facilities just like the Indian Medical Graduates who are being trained at Government Medical Colleges.
The reason for such relief on NMC's part was the fact that the medical graduates from abroad were facing hardship in getting themselves registered in some of the State medical Councils after publication of Foreign Medical Graduates Licentiate Regulations, 2021 and Compulsory Rotatory Medical Internship Regulations, 2021 by National Medical Commission.
The FMGL Regulations 2021, which was issued on November 18, 2021, had cleared mentioned about the mandatory criteria for getting a registration in India. Those criteria included an MBBS course with a minimum duration of fifty-four months, a mandatory twelve months internship in the same foreign medical institutes, supervised internship in India for twelve months, passing the National Exit Test, etc.
Clearly, those regulations had spelled out the doom for many foreign medical institutes offering MBBS course with duration less than fifty-four months, and also those institutes who offered only teaching facilities and not the training facilities.
Finally, NMC clarified that "the Foreign Medical Graduates(FMGs) who have acquired a foreign medical degree or primary qualification, as the case may be, and the candidates who have joined their education in foreign institutions, prior to 18th Nov, 2021, shall be governed by the provisions contained in previously applicable regulations, namely "The Screening 'Test Regulations 2002" and "The Eligibility Requirement for Taking Admission in an Undergraduate Medical Course in a Foreign Medical Institution Regulations, 2002".
Addressing the problems faced by the Foreign medicos, NMC had mentioned in the circular that, "State Medical Councils should obtain an undertaking from the medical college that no amount/fee is charged by the medical college from the FMGs for permitting them to do their internship. "The stipend & other facilities to FMGs should be extended equivalent to Indian Medical Graduates being trained at Government Medical Colleges as fixed by the appropriate authority applicable to the institution/University or State."
Despite such a direction from the Apex medical body, some of the medical colleges were not complying with those rules of paying stipend to internship. In fact, some of the colleges were charging the medical graduates from abroad with Internship fee as well.
Therefore, NMC had to issue another circular, where it had directed all the State Medical Councils and Directorates of Medical Education (DME) to take necessary action in this regard.
Issuing a circular in this regard, NMC had mentioned, "It has been brought into the notice of the National Medical Commission through various sources that some medical colleges/ institutes across the country are charging internship fee from the interns, Indian and Foreign Medical Graduates for doing their internship in their colleges/ institutes and also not paying stipend to them."
Therefore, directing the authorities to ensure that the Foreign Medical Graduates are receiving similar facilities like the Indian Medical graduates, NMC stated in the circular, "All State Medical Councils and Directorates of Medical Education are requested to kindly take immediate necessary action in this regard and ensure that no internship fee is charged by the medical colleges/ institutes from these interns Indian and Foreign Medical Graduates and stipend including other facilities is being provided to FMGs as equivalent to Indian Medical Graduates in the States/ UTs."
As per the latest media report by the Times of India, the Punjab Government is about to start paying stipend to the FMGs joining as MBBS interns, in compliance with the NMC norms. The decision in this regard has been taken at Punjab Medical Council president Dr Charanjit Singh Pruthi's meeting with the heads of medical institutes in the State.
In the meeting the registrars of medical universities, representatives of Chandigarh's Government Medical College, director health services of Punjab and Chandigarh, and hospital representatives were also present. The officials discussed about the arrangements for the compulsory medical internship of the FMGs returning from Russia, Ukraine, and China.
The medical colleges have been asked to submit their proposal in this regard to the Punjab Medical Council (PMC) within one week. However, the maximum quota for accepting FMGs in an institute is limited to 7.5% of the total permitted seats of a medical college.
Barsha completed her MA from the University of Burdwan, West Bengal in 2018. Having a knack for Journalism she joined Medical Dialogues back in 2020. She mainly covers news about medico legal cases, NMC/DCI updates, medical education issues including the latest updates about medical and dental colleges in India. She can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.