A large section of doctors has supported the recent recommendation of a Parliamentary standing committee on health to revamp the Medical Council of India (MCI). While there were several opinions on other aspects, most agreed on the need for minimum government “intervention” in an autonomous body.
“Without a doubt, the current system needs to be revamped. At present, the only focus is on establishing new medical colleges. We know that the patient-doctor ratio is adverse in the country, but this does not mean that we will focus only on the quantity and ignore quality. Corruption is deep-rooted in MCI. We need a transparent body,” said Dr Sangeeta Sharma, Neuropsychopharmacology professor at the Institute of Human Behavior and Allied Sciences (IHBAS) and a former member of MCI. Dr R.P. Srivastava, a current member of MCI and former president of the Association of Surgeons of India, said, “A majority of MCI members also want the body revamped. Some members of the MCI have political backing. If a proposed Parliamentary ordinance had been passed in 2013, things would have been better now. The ordinance would have ensured equitable distribution of medical colleges across the states and established uniformity. It would have also ensured a fixed tenure of the members in MCI, avoiding the current stagnant status. At present, no regular meetings take place in the MCI.
Dr Praveen Bhatia, Sir Ganga Ram Hospital, said, “The MCI needs a fine balance between the nominated and the elected members.”