Indian doctors integral to US Corona battle

Dr. Nitesh Jain
Dr. Nitesh Jain

Dr. Nitesh Jain explains why Indian physicians on the frontline feel disappointed by US immigration laws.

As America faces one of its worst crises battling the novel coronavirus, Indian doctors on the frontline have once again proven to be among the nation’s most vital healthcare resources.

Statistics show that with about 23% of the entire physician population in the US coming from international medical schools, America relies heavily on foreign professionals for its healthcare system.

Almost a quarter of these foreign physicians in America are Indians followed by Filipinos who make up 7% of international medical graduate population. On an average, every eighth appointment made to a doctor in America would be directed to an Indian doctor.

ALSO READ: Indian Americans step forward to help in COVID-19 crisis (March 17, 2020)

“Especially during these extraordinary times, as the world deals with COVID-19, the contribution of Indian doctors in America cannot be underestimated,” Dr Nitesh Jain told the American Bazaar.

“The entire medical workforce in America is currently on an emergency mode and is required to be alert and available never mind their personal schedules,” said the pulmonologist who practices in rural Minnesota.

“Thousands of Indian doctors are currently on the frontline working towards the COVID-19 crisis,” said Jain, explaining there is a systemic reason for it.

“Most Indian doctors are seeing patients in rural communities in America, often because of the immigration requirements” he noted.

“Also, a majority of Indian doctors are primary care physicians such as pediatricians, gynecologists, obstetricians and internists who form the frontline at the time of any disease outbreak.”

“The Indian healthcare professionals’ contribution to the US has always remained exemplary,” Jain said.

ALSO READ: India’s Kerala state shows how to fight Coronavirus  (March 18, 2020)

Thousands of these Indian physicians take pride in reporting for duty every day to ensure the rest of the population is not exposed to the crisis.

But many Indian doctors feel dejected that despite doing so much for the country, America continues to delay their right to residency.

According to immigration statistics, thousands of Indian doctors are currently stuck in a green card backlog. This means they may have to wait from ten to 100 years before they can hope to get permanent residency in America.

“There is a systemic problem behind this backlog,” said Dr Jain explaining why a specialty occupation such as medical professionals have to wait unbelievably long for green cards.

“Back in the 70’s when Indian physicians started coming to the US, the hospitals used to send cars to pick them up from airports,” he noted.

ALSO READ: Coronavirus starts a toilet paper run in North America (March 13, 2020)

“This is how badly America needed medical professionals,” Dr Jain said. “The immigration laws were made in the US to ensure that people from European Union are not favored and hence a 7% country cap was placed.”

“However, during the 90s with the influx of IT professionals from India, the number of Indian professionals coming to the US increased dramatically.”

“What remained unchanged was the immigration laws that too had to change with the changing times,” Dr Jain said.

“While the shortage of medical professionals still remains in America, most Indian professionals find an occupation,” he added.

“However, it must be noted that due to the stiff competition, it is only the best and the most diligent medical professionals who make the cut.”

“Despite their achievements, it is the tough immigration laws that lead to a feeling of despair in the community,” said Dr Jain who has been regularly visiting his Minnesota clinic.

ALSO READ: Hundreds of Coronavirus fighting Indian doctors stuck in green card backlog (March 18, 2020)

“We are proud that we are able to help Americans during hours of crisis like we are currently seeing,” he said. “But it is disheartening that the Congress does not take note of our plight and considers other issues more important.”

Explaining how stringent immigration laws have been negatively impacting patients in the US, Dr Jain related the case of “a fellow Indian colleague, an oncologist (who) had to travel to India for getting his visa stamped.”

“His case was put under administrative processing and he could not return to the US for 6-8 weeks. During this time, his cancer patients who needed acute attention had to travel 50 miles to seek medical advice.”

As the world comes to terms with the reality of quarantines and staying at home to keep safe, medical professionals have earned people’s respect for their dedication.

Indian professionals in America happily serving the country they live in hope that America too gives them an equal chance.

READ MORE:

India’s visa suspension creates anxiety, confusion in the US (March 13, 2020)

How India lover Elizabeth Schneider survived dreaded Coronavirus (March 12, 2020)

Religious institutions live stream prayer services amid Coronavirus shut down (March 15, 2020)

Indian American led team translating COVID-19 info in 30 languages (March 17, 2020)

Hum some desi tunes to fight Coronavirus blues! (March 17, 2020)

The newly passed H.R.1044 raises caps for family-based green cards (July 10, 2019)

How Netra Chavan channeled her own frustrations to build an H4 and H-1B visa support system (February 14, 2019)

RHC’s H-1B rally demands elimination of Green Card backlog, protection for ‘DALCA’ children (February 10, 2019)

Trump talks about changes in H-1B Visa, including a possible citizenship (January 11, 2019)

Trump’s tweet on H-1B and path to citizenship evokes lukewarm response (January 12, 2019)

Waiting for the Wait to End: The human face of Indian immigrants caught in the Green Card backlog (December 4, 2018)

H-4 and H-1: Time for Indian immigrants to speak up on immigration policy, says author Amy Bhatt (January 5, 2019)

The unstable life of Indians on H-1B visa in the US due to visa renewal policy (October 28, 2016)

High-skilled Indian workers, DALCA kids, rally on Capitol Hill to clear green card backlog (June 15, 2018)

Reverse brain drain – the experience of three couples who moved back to India from the US (January 20, 2014)

One Comment

  1. Vince Civiletto

    Really? Stop spreading crap, its worse than spreading the disease. No one cares about indian doctors nor are they integral to anything. They’re always about lining their own pockets and profiting at other people’s expense. Only thing they care about is obtaining green cards and making big bucks. All this concern about the current situation is a put-on and a total sham.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.