Gangtok, Jan. 16: The interns of Sikkim Manipal Institute of Medical Sciences can from Thursday register themselves with the Sikkim Medical Council while the institute itself awaits a Medical Council of India (MCI) affiliation.
Karma Gyatso, principal secretary, health and family welfare, confirmed that a notification would be issued tomorrow declaring the Sikkim Medical Council as effective under the Sikkim Medical Registration Act of 2005. This means that henceforth all interns can seek registration under the state council.
However, the news has not gone down well with striking students who feel that they will be at a disadvantage, as this temporary registration will allow them to practice in Sikkim only. The class boycott and ceasework in the Manipal medical college and the Central Referral Hospital entered the sixth day today. Yesterday, a 24-hour vigil by candlelight had been organised on the college premises to protest against the non-affiliation of the institute to the MCI.
The interns attached to the referral hospital are the first batch of students of the Manipal institute.
The Sikkim Medical Registration Bill was passed by the Sikkim Assembly in 2005. Thereafter, it was tabled in both the houses of Parliament and the presidential assent came in November 2006. Under the act, of the 10 state medical council members, two will be representatives of the Sikkim Manipal University and four will be from the state government. The remaining four will be elected from the registered doctors.
“The state government has shown its commitment and concern for the young interns and has in record time set up its own council through an act. The interns can now register themselves while an MCI affiliation comes about,” an official of the state health department said.
The protesters have reiterated their demand that the head of the Manipal Group, Ramdas Pai, discuss with them the MCI affiliation issue.
The non-affiliation of the college to the MCI has rendered courses at the institute useless and had in the past led to several flare-ups between students and the university.