The Supreme Court on Friday adjourned to June 15 the hearing of two petitions seeking the induction of Foreign Medical Graduates in the healthcare workforce of the country to augment the ailing healthcare system.
A vacation bench comprising Justice Indira Banerjee and Justice MR Shah could not take up the petition today due to paucity of time. The cases are Association of MD Physicians and others vs Union of India and Indian Foreign Medical Students(IFMS) Welfare MCI Gurukul Trust versus Union of India.
A bench comprising Justice Nageswara Rao and Justice Aniruddha Bose had on June 1st issued notice returnable in two weeks on the petitions.
The Bench had however indicated that it was not inclined to grant exemption from taking exams. The observation was made with reference to the relief of a one-time exemption being sought be petitioner associations for their members, and for all other FMGs eligible to take the FMG Examination, from taking such exam, and to be inducted into the COVID-19 workforce in order to augment the health infrastructure of the country.
The petition has sought directions to the Union of India to direct all states to immediately induct all the Foreign Medical Graduates within their jurisdiction into the COVID-19 healthcare workforce, and to provide facilities to such graduates at par with that provided to MBBS graduates with commensurate experience from India who are a part of the workforce.
The petitioners have also sought an alternative relief of reduction in the qualifying criteria of FMGs who had taken the FMGE December 2020, and to be brought at par with that of graduates who took the NEET Postgraduate examination of 2020.
While highlighting an unprecedented demand of doctors and healthcare professionals in wake of the Covid 19 pandemic, the Petitioners have approached the court seeking "enforcement of their fundamental right to practice their profession, as also seeking to be placed at par with medical graduates who have obtained their primary medical qualification in India" in light of the Covid 19 pandemic.