NEW DELHI: A group of doctors and scientists have expressed grave concern over foreign national resident doctors enrolled in post graduation and super specialty courses at AIIMS here not getting any stipend, even as their counterparts in other central institutions like PGIMER in Chandigarh and JIPMER in Puducherry getting paid.
The group has urged the Prime Minister's Office and the Ministry of Health to intervene in the matter at the earliest.
The group of doctors and scientists under the banner of 'Progressive Medicos and Scientists Forum' (PMSF), in a statement, said during the COVID-19 pandemic, these resident doctors have been working day and night and saving the lives of people here "without any discrimination".
"So it is a gross violation of the basic legal right of 'equal work, equal pay' and the basic democratic right of being paid for their work," it said.
While their contemporary Indian resident doctors are getting paid for the same services, these foreign national residents are not getting paid just because they do not have Indian citizenship, PMSF said.
"To add to their woes, these foreign national resident doctors are forced to pay even for their treatment in their own hospital if they get sick due to dengue, malaria or any other hospital acquired infection. What would be more painful than this?" the statement said.
The Resident Doctors' Association (RDA) of AIIMS had also written to the institute director over the matter on a number of occasions in the past.
In a recent letter, the AIIMS RDA had requested the administration to consider providing free Employee Health Scheme (EHS) to such residents, reiterating that they are not sponsored/nominated by the Ministry of External Affairs and hence, are not paid any stipend from any Indian or their parent country organisation.
The PMSF said all the resident doctors should be treated free-of-cost through health card scheme rather than employee health scheme which is meant for employees.
"The PMSF also expresses its disapproval of the manner in which AIIMS Administration is equating these foreign national resident doctors with sponsored candidates who get paid by the organisations sponsoring them. But these foreign national resident doctors are not getting any payment at all."
"We urge the Prime Minister's Office and the Ministry of Health to intervene at the earliest to end this agony as soon as possible," the statement added.