Rs 6 lakh too high: TN Foreign Medical Graduates demand govt to waive off CRRI training fee
Chennai: Pointing out that they will have to pay a huge sum of nearly Rs 6 Lakh to medical colleges for their compulsory CRRI training, the Foreign Medical Graduates (FMG) of Tamil Nadu have now demanded a waiver.
The medicos stated they will have to pay Rs 3.54 Lakh to obtain NOC from MGR University and Rs 2 Lakh to the preferred medical college to start their one year of mandatory CRRI Training.
Finding the amount exorbitant, the FMGs, under the umbrella of Foreign Medical Graduate students' Wing of Tamil Nadu Medical Student Association, have requested the state authorities to reduce the amount significantly considering the pandemic.
"This Huge sum was collected only in Tamil Nadu whereas other states take in interns with nil fee or affordable fee. So, considering the pandemic and to reduce the financial burden of the Interns now and in the future, we request the Government to waive off the fee completely or to reduce it to thousands", demanded the association in its recent statement.
The association also demanded that the FMGs who were forced to stay back in India and complete their 2-3 months of classes online due to the pandemic should also be permitted to continue their internship in India.
Medical Dialogues had earlier reported that the state Government decided to rope in about 500 foreign medical graduates to join the fight against the pandemic. Now, almost 80 of these FMGs, after passing the FMGE exam, have recently been deployed in different government medical colleges of Tamil Nadu as interns.
Speaking to Medical Dialogues, Dr. Kumaraguru, the secretary of FMG wing of Tamil Nadu Medical Student Association said, "I am glad that the government allowed us to join the workforce but in a recent order almost 80 of FMGs who were awaiting to be appointed in government hospitals got employed in medical colleges and hence, they will have to pay an exorbitant amount. Now many states are introducing incentives for COVID duties. We might also have to serve in COVID wards but we are not asking to increase stipend, we are just asking the government to consider our financial problems during the pandemic and to waive off the fee accordingly."
Other than demanding the fee waiver, the foreign medical graduates pointed out that the existing procedure to apply for CRRI in any Government medical college is very cumbersome. The whole process of their joining includes steps like securing FMGE passing certificate, provisional eligibility certificate from TNMC, NOC of the Preferred Institution, Provisional registration certificate from TNMC, NOC of the MGR University, and then getting DME and government's approval and it often takes a toll on them. It takes a minimum of 4 months to a maximum of 10 months to complete the process before they can start the internship, they said.
Under such circumstances, the association requested the Government and Tamil Nadu Medical Council (TNMC) to shorten the process and let the FMGs start their CRRI training with only the Provisional registration certificate from TNMC, which cuts down the long delay.
The foreign medical graduates also stated that since there was an increasing trend of Passing percentage of Tamil Nadu graduates in FMGE, the vacancies must also be increased in order to accommodate them all.
"It is requested that the upper ceiling for FMGs must be lifted and the vacancies must be created based on the number of applicants applied for CRRI in the State Council", stated the association. Moreover, the FMG body also urged the government to consider approving New District quarters Hospital for CRRI training as this will increase the manpower at the District level.
Talking about the other demands of the foreign graduates, Dr Kumaraguru further mentioned, " The FMGs who did a part of their Internship in their country of the study were forced to return to India and completed the latter by Online Classes due to the unprecedented Covid pandemic. Now authorities have asked them to go back to their respective institutions. We want that they should be given a permit to start their rest of the CRRI training in Tamilnadu and they should get their permanent registration also. They have already completed their course, it has to be taken into consideration."
The doctor further mentioned that these FMGs who were forced to stay back in India and complete 2-3 months of classes Online due to the pandemic, got graduated and passed FMGE to start their internship. They are ready to compensate for their deficiency months by working additional months on their internship tenure and as unprecedented times require unprecedented measures, the government should permit them to do so.