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MBBS Internship: Supreme Court Orders National Medical Commission (NMC) Inquiry

MBBS Internship: National Medical Commission Directed to Submit Stipend Details

In a crucial development concerning the payment of stipends for doctors undergoing their MBBS internships, the Supreme Court issued a clear directive to the National Medical Commission (NMC) on April 1. The Court instructed the NMC to provide details regarding the stipend status of medical colleges across all states, noting that the NMC had not furnished comprehensive information as per an earlier directive issued on September 15, 2023.

The Court had previously directed the NMC on September 15 to submit a tabulated chart and explain whether it was accurate that 70% of medical colleges in the country either did not pay any stipend to interns or paid an amount below the minimum prescribed stipend. Additionally, the Court sought information on the steps being taken by the NMC to ensure compliance with stipend payment norms during internships.

Observing that the NMC had not provided complete details as required, a bench comprising Justices Sudhanshu Dhulia and Prasanna B Varale directed the NMC to do so within four weeks.

During previous proceedings, the bench expressed concerns about medical colleges’ inadequate payment of stipends. Justice Dhulia criticized the colleges for being unwilling to pay stipends despite charging hefty fees. He questioned the nature of these medical colleges, highlighting that they charged exorbitant fees but were not prepared to provide stipends. Justice Dhulia emphasized that either stipends should be paid or internships should not be offered.

Advocate Tanvi Dubey, representing the petitioners, informed the Court during the April 1 hearing that even Foreign Medical Graduates (FMGs) were not receiving stipends. The Court expressed dissatisfaction with this situation, indicating that FMGs should not be treated differently.

Following the submissions, the Court scheduled the matter for a final hearing on May 6, 2024.

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