The National Medical Commission (NMC) seems to have rejected the stand of the erstwhile Medical Council of India (MCI) on stipend for medical interns as the draft regulations on their compulsory rotating internship have been gazetted without any changes.

The Draft Regulations issued on April 21, 2021, had said that all interns shall be paid stipend “as fixed by the appropriate fee fixation authority as applicable to the institution/ University/State”. They were gazetted on November 18.

The erstwhile 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 The Board of Governors that superseded the MCI was considering to include a provision that said “all the candidates pursuing compulsory rotating internship at the institution from which MBBS course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.

The Kerala High Court, in an order on October 29, 2015, had directed PMS College of Dental Science and Research, Thiruvananthapuram, to pay stipend to the BDS interns at at the rate of what is being paid to the government dental colleges in the State.

K.V. Babu, Kannur-based public health activist, pointed out that the vague provision on stipend in the draft regulations would give room for private medical college management to deny stipend to MBBS interns. In a mail to the NMC in July, Dr. Babu had sought reframing of the provision to “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.”