Stipend hopes rise for MBBS interns at private colleges

By Iffath Fatima

medical board issues a circular requesting all pvt colleges to pay stipends to trainees

In a relief for MBBS students who intern at private medical colleges in Karnataka and are denied stipends, the National Medical Commission (NMC) issued a circular requesting that the necessary allowance be paid.

The NMC has stated that some medical colleges across the country charge internship fees for interns, Indian and foreign medical graduates to do their internship at their institutes and also do not pay them a stipend.

The National Student Union of India (NSUI), Karnataka, recently wrote to Dr Aruna V VanikarPresident, Undergraduate Medical education Board, regarding the non-payment of stipends to final year MBBS intern students serving in private medical schools.

The circular signed by Shambu Sharan Kumar, Deputy Secretary of NMC, said, “In accordance with the provisions of NMC CRMI 2021 Regulations, interns (no more than 15 interns at a time in one center) are assigned to Rural health centers for a period of 12 weeks. However, it has been observed that due to the scarcity of Rural centers adopted by the collegiate authorities, a large number of trainees are assigned to a rural centre. Therefore, college authorities are advised to adopt more rural centers to accommodate internship training and also provide residential accommodation or transportation (to and from rural centers) to such interns at the expense of college authorities. All State Medical Boards and Directorates of Medical Education are kindly requested to take immediate necessary action in this regard and ensure that no internship fees are charged by medical colleges/institutes at these interns, Indian and foreign medical graduates, and a stipend including other facilities is offered to FMGs as equivalent to Indian medical graduates in the States/UT.

Sanjay Raj, Secretary of State, Head of RGUHS University, NSUI Karnataka, they were planning to seek justice in the high court. “Prior to the court hearing, NMC issued the notification on May 19. Good thing that NMC at least talks about allowance issue after 3-4 years and has ordered government and medical education department to take action on this. The government must order all private medical and dental colleges to pay stipends. Otherwise, we will seek justice in the courts,” he said.

The students pointed out that during the pandemic, all the students were working nonstop, putting their lives at risk. “Private medical school students are used as money-making machines and exploited. Many students come from various districts and states to work here. They have to pay for their accommodation themselves. The NMC circular is a huge relief, but it is up to the state government officials to step forward and help the students,” said one student.

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