Home National & International NewsMOHFW news MOHFW seeks NMC opinion on consistent remuneration for medical interns

MOHFW seeks NMC opinion on consistent remuneration for medical interns

by Vaishali Sharma

The National Medical Commission (NMC) has been asked to remark on a consistent stipend for MBBS interns at government and private medical institutions across the country, according to the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.

This follows a letter from Binoy Viswam, Communist Party of India’s Rajya Sabha MP, to Mansukh Mandaviya, Union Minister for Health and Family Welfare on December 8, 2021. Mr. Mandaviya directed the Secretary, NMC, on January 27 to furnish its views “at the earliest”.

In his letter, Mr. Viswam had highlighted the lack of parity in stipend given to MBBS interns in private/deemed universities and those enrolled in government colleges. A stipend is paid to the interns as a matter of right and not charity. However, there was no equity across all medical institutions, he said.

Mr. Viswam pointed out that the NMC’s Draft Regulation Compulsory Rotating Internship, 2021, issued on April 21, 2021, and gazetted on November 18 in the same year, had said that all interns shall be paid stipend “as fixed by the appropriate fee fixation authority as applicable to the institution/university/State.”

The phrasing of this provision allowed for “ambiguity and arbitrariness in the award of stipend”, he said. It’s also possible that private college administrators may refuse to pay stipends to MBBS interns because they have total discretion and no safeguards in place. Mr. Viswam asserted that the repercussions of this could be observed in universities across the country, claiming that there were differences in the stipend amounts provided in government and private medical institutions.

According to sources, the erstwhile Medical Council of India (MCI), however, had come up with a public notice on January 25, 2019, on Graduate Medical Education Regulations, 1997. The Board of Governors that superseded the MCI was considering to include a provision which said that “All the candidates pursuing compulsory rotating internship at the institution from which MBBS course was completed, shall be paid stipend on par with the stipend being paid to the interns of the State Govt. Medical Institution/Central Government Medical Institution in the State/Union Territory where the institution is located.” However, it was not gazetted until the Board was dissolved.

In a decision dated October 29, 2015, the Kerala High Court ordered PMS College of Dental Science and Research, Thiruvananthapuram, to pay stipends to BDS interns at the same rate as government dental institutes in the state.

Mr. Viswam encouraged the Minister to confer with all stakeholders, including state governments, MBBS college administrations, medical experts, and MBBS students, in order to develop a strategy.

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