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For the first time, foreign resident doctors to get salaries at PGI

They had been working for free at PGIMER and other medical institutes of national importance.

punjab Updated: Sep 13, 2018 10:50 IST
Tanbir Dhaliwal
Tanbir Dhaliwal
Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
PGI,Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research,Chandigarh
(HT File )

For the first time, foreign resident doctors working at the Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER) and other medical institutes of national importance will be paid salaries.

So far, they were doing “free labour” while their Indian counterparts would earn anywhere between Rs 70,000 and Rs 1 lakh per month.

There are 668 seats for junior residents (MD/MS), of which 10% (66) are reserved for foreign nationals at the PGIMER. Currently, 58 seats are filled, out of which 50 junior residents are from Nepal, one from Sri Lanka and two from Canada besides other nations. Apart from them, there are 13 foreign senior residents at the institute.

Stating that these doctors work equally hard and deserve salaries, PGIMER director Dr Jagat Ram said: “All foreign nationals, who are not sponsored, will get salaries from now on. The government has approved their demand and within a day, we will sign the orders for implementation.”

Dr Jagat Ram said that at present, only junior residents have been entitled for salary, and he will be cross-checking with the authorities concerned whether the benefit extends to senior residents as well.

Nepalese doctor took up the issue

Dr Sagar Poudel, a Nepalese citizen who is a junior resident at the All India Institutes of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), New Delhi, was the one to raise the issue for the first time with his country’s prime minister (PM).

“This was a long-pending demand and political intervention was the only solution. In April, when I got to know that our PM is visiting India, I wrote a letter to him as a representative of resident doctors of India. I went to Nepal and could met him and the foreign minister,” said Dr Poudel.

Dr Poudel raised the issue again with the PM during his visit to India, following which it was reportedly taken up during bilateral talks with Narendra Modi.

Although written orders have not reached AIIMS and Jawaharlal Institute of Postgraduate Medical Education and Research (JIPMER), Puducherry, yet, the PGIMER has received them.

At the PGIMER, the issue was also taken up by the Association of Resident Doctors (ARD) president, Dr Uttam Thakur.

Dr Bipin Kumar Yadav, a foreign national and executive member of the ARD, said: “We are very happy with the decision. At least, now we won’t put financial burden on our parents. We are professionals who work over 12 hours a day.” When asked why they were working for free, he said: “The PGIMER is the best training ground.”

First Published: Sep 13, 2018 10:50 IST