The National Medical Commission (NMC) seems to have no records or files on a public notice issued three years ago for an amendment to Graduate Medical Education Regulations, 1997, which dealt with stipend for medical interns.
This was revealed in a reply given under the Right to Information Act to K.V. Babu, a Kannur-based ophthalmologist and RTI activist. Dr. Babu had filed a plea on January 28 asking for the status of the public notice dated January 25, 2019, and also copies of all the comments received and all the discussions on the amendments, and the file notings.
The notification had said that the Board of Governors that superseded the Medical Council of India (MCI) was considering inclusion of the following provisions in the regulations: “All the candidates pursuing compulsory rotating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 Government Medical Institution/Central Government Medical Institution in the State/Union Territory where the institution is located.” Comments or suggestions were invited within 15 days.
The reply given to Dr. Babu said “In this regard, it is stated that the previous records/file pertaining to your RTI application could not be traced, despite all possible efforts.” The public notice, however, is available in the NMC archives.
Dr. Babu said that ironically, the NMC insists that every physician should maintain medical records pertaining to his/her indoor patients for a period of three years from the date of commencement of the treatment in a standard proforma laid down by the MCI. If any request is made for medical records either by the patients/authorised attendant or the legal authorities, they may be duly acknowledged and documents should be issued within 72 hours.
“The NMC has more to conceal than reveal under the RTI,” he said.