Thiruvananthapuram: The Kerala University of Health Sciences and the management of private medical colleges in the state locked horns over the former's order to provide stipend to house surgeons (interns) on par with government medical colleges.
KUHS said it would take action against managements that refuse to follow the order. The university registrar wrote to college principals to consider the complaints of students seriously.
Meanwhile, principals are of the stand that the stipend cannot be given without hiking fees. They also said that the university order is merely a suggestion and the colleges are not legally bound to follow it.
The KUHS had recently asked Ayurveda, Homeopathy, Siddha and Unani medical colleges in private sector to provide a stipend to students equal to that of government medical colleges. It is Rs 23,000- 26,000 per month.
Some medical colleges in modern medicine provide a stipend of Rs 5,000- 10,000. But colleges in other streams do not give any amount, students said. Their service is used for treating patients in the hospitals. Students struggle to pay hostel fees and meet other expenses even during the compulsory internship period.
Even though KUHS said that it will act on the matter, there has been no action against colleges despite repeated complaints. The university has been informing the matter regularly to colleges. There are legal hurdles to cancel the affiliation of colleges that violate the order. Besides, there is no proper guideline to fix the stipend amount.
"The university direction is impractical. The Fee Regulatory Committee for Professional Colleges is not considering the expense of stipend while deciding the fees," said Anilkumar Vallil, secretary, Private Medical College Management Association.