Japan's doctors' union has urged the government to carry out a nationwide inspection on all university hospitals to find out whether they are providing young doctors with proper remuneration.
Education ministry revealed for the first time last month that 2,191 doctors at 50 university hospitals of medicine and dentistry worked without pay.
NHK discovered that most of the unpaid doctors are young interns even though they are assigned to treat patients. They are put at the bottom of the traditional hierarchy and are reluctant to complain about their mistreatment.
The national doctors' union made a proposal to the labor ministry on Thursday to urge officials to inspect all university hospitals about their working conditions.
They also asked the government to strictly supervise the universities to prevent underpayment from recurring.
The head of the doctors' union, Naoto Ueyama, says that not paying salaries to doctors is a clear violation of the Labor Standards Act. He adds that cases of unpaid doctors the government has revealed so far are just the tip of the iceberg, and the scope of the problem should be thoroughly understood.