Amid the raging second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Resident Doctors Association (RDA) of the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) said that 65 foreign nationals, including those from Nepal, training at the institute have not received their salaries. In a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the RDA recalled that in May of 2018, he had assured the PM of Nepal that the matter regarding the release of stipend to Nepalese Foreign National doctors would be looked into expeditiously by the Indian Government.
They stated that the Ministry of External Affairs had inter-alia informed the MOHFW "to ensure concrete progress with the directive of the Prime Minister by mid-September 2018". Out of the 151 Nepalese doctors training at AIIMS in New Delhi, PGI in Chandigarh and JIPMER Puducherry, 65 working at AIIMS are yet to receive their salaries.
"All of these 65 foreign national Doctors in AIIMS New Delhi, over and above their regular clinical duties are also performing COVID duties since March 2020. They are performing such duties even by putting their own life ... They are not being paid a single penny towards a stipend, despite explicit and clear directions in ... July 2018," the letter read. Additionally, the letter stated that not a single doctor, out of 65 working at AIIMS were distinguishable or severable in the eyes of law with the Nepalese doctors working in PGI Chandigarh and JIPMER.
"...Even undergraduate and intern Doctors are also being allowed honorarium. Whereas throughout the civilised world, it is not permissible to draw a distinction between the duties and responsibilities of a professionally trained doctor undergoing postgraduate training and interns," it added. The RDA requested that the health minister or the Director of AIIMS be asked to releaseemoluments of the 65 Foreign National Doctors immediately.