New Delhi, Jun 11 (ILNS) The Supreme Court today deferred hearing into a plea seeking induction of foreign medical graduates in the healthcare workforce of India to curb the shortage of the healthcare workforce.
A Division Bench of Justice Indira Banerjee and Justice MR Shah posted the plea for hearing on June 15.
The petition has been filed by the Association of MD Physicians and the Indian Foreign Medical Students Welfare MCI Gurukul Trust, seeking a direction mandating their induction into the healthcare workforce to augment the ailing healthcare system.
A Division Bench of Justice L Nageswara Rao and Justice Aniruddha Bose had issued notice, stating, “We are not sure if we can grant relief to those who haven’t cleared exam. The other categories where they’ve cleared, we can issue notice.”
During the hearing, Senior Advocate Kapil Sibal appeared for the petitioners and submitted that there are several categories of foreign medical graduates: those who’ve cleared exams, done internship but aren’t getting registered; those who’ve cleared exam but not able to do internship; and those who haven’t given exam, but are willing to serve.
The plea has been filed as a one-time measure, to allow foreign medical graduates to do internships before they clear mandatory ‘Screening Test’ for registration and practice as doctors in India. The petitioner is requesting this concession looking at the present Covid-19 pandemic and the current tsunami of the second wave.
The petition stated, “Every year, around 15,000-20,000 foreign medical graduate students appear in the Screening Test, these are doctors eligible to practice medicine in the country they have graduated from.
“In India, there is a bar under the Screening Test Regulations 2002 [Regulation 11] that unless and until foreign medical graduates clears Screening Test, they are not eligible to register themselves as doctors in India. The petitioner is seeking one-time exemption to Regulation 11 to cater to the need of the nation crying for help,” it added. ILNS/GM/RJ