Tanuja Joshi|Sep 21, 2023
NMC survey to check what medical colleges pay MBBS students as stipends
NHRC has asked NMC to cover all private medical colleges in a survey to ascertain if UG, PG medical interns are being paid prescribed stipends.
NEW DELHI: The National Medical Commission (NMC) is conducting a survey to know the stipend amount being paid to undergraduate (UG) medical interns and postgraduate (PG) medical students – resident doctors – in self-financed or private medical colleges in India.
The initiative is being taken in compliance with the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) order dated February 24, 2023 in which rights body asked NMC to conduct a survey covering all private medical colleges to ascertain what the prescribed rates of stipend are for UG and PG interns and to check whether they are being paid accordingly.
As part of the online survey, the names and other details of the student who filled up the Google form will be kept confidential and will not be shared with anyone including the management of the concerned medical college, NMC said. All the UG interns and PG medical students in private medical colleges can fill up the form without any fear till May 7, 2023, NMC said.
The online Google form has section 1 which is introductory and is to be filled by all students. Section A-I and A-II is to be filled only by UG MBBS students doing their internship and section B-I and B-II is to be filled only by PG students. Section C is optional and students can submit comments related to stipend in not more than 50 words.
NMC’s Compulsory Rotating Medical Internship (CRMI) regulations, 2021 says: “All interns shall be paid stipend as fixed by the appropriate authority applicable to the institution or university or state.” All medical colleges, including private, have to pay stipend to MBBS students undergoing internship at the rate prescribed by the approved authority.
During a hearing of a case related to medical students' stipend in, NHRC in February 2023 found that the “NMC has not taken effective steps for implementation of either its own regulations or recommendations of the NHRC.”
Medical students stipend and NHRC case
On July 1, 2021, Dr Gauri M. Menon, a student of Malabar Medical College, Kozhikode, Kerala, along with others made a complaint to NHRC alleging that the stipend given to the house surgeons (MBBS interns) is inadequate and in violation of government order.
The complainants also alleged that the house surgeons are performing Compulsory Rotatory Residential Internship (CRRI) programme and Covid-19 duties, for which they were paid a risk benefit allowance of Rs 4,000 per week. “However, this allowance had been stopped from June 16, 2021 due to lack of Covid funds from the government. MBBS interns are paid a very low stipend of Rs 8,500 per month, out of which Rs 2,500 is deducted towards mess charges,” complainants said.
The complainants had requested the intervention of NHRC and payment of stipend not less than Rs 18,000 per month to them.
The NHRC noted that there was “violation of human rights of doctors, including their right to dignity, particularly in Covid-19 pandemic times”
NHRC issued directions to Kerala government, Kerala University of Health Sciences (KUHS), Thrissur and NMC to ensure that stipend paid to MBBS interns of all self-financed medical colleges in Kerala was at par with government medical colleges since July 1, 2019 or to de-recognize the colleges. The commission also asked the authorities to pay the prescribed risk benefit allowance for the Covid times. NHRC in its order said that payments should be made along with interest at Reserve Bank of India (RBI) rate and proof of payment should also be provided to the commission.
NHRC further asked NMC to conduct a survey in all the private medical colleges to ascertain what the prescribed rates of stipend are for UG and PG interns and to check whether they are being paid accordingly.
“The results of the survey should also be sent to the Commission. Let an action taken report in the matter be submitted by the NMC to the Commission within eight weeks,” NHRC said.
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