Sunday, September 30, 2018

The Board of Governors taking over was inevitable

The Niti Aayog had always wanted to change the structure of MCI for long. However, it was getting postponed either by pressure from the medical community including IMA or by the opposition political parties.

The NMC Bill had been put before the Parliament twice but had not been passed. It may not get passed in the winter session too. After that it will be National election time.

The bureaucracy is very adamant in making this change. The term of the MCI was getting over on 5th November. If the govt. had started the MCI re-election period, this would mean being elected for five years.

The Supreme Court had already consented to an overarching control of a 5-member committee.

So, the best way for the government was to not continue with the MCI beyond 5th November and run it with a 5-7 member Board of Governors as the Congress had done in the past with the same members who had been running it for the last one year with additional two members.

Most of these members nominated to the Board of Governors have proven integrity. Dr Sanjay Shrivastava, who has been appointed the Secretary General has a wide experience of the MCI.

The whole procedure has been advanced by one month with an idea that by the time the next parliament sits, they will have had enough time to adjust. The government is hoping to get the NMC Bill passed in November. If not, continue with the Board of Governors for the next one year.

Till the NMC comes, the present infrastructure and staff of MCI continues.

MCI Take-over: Malafide and Scheming (Team IMA 2018)

In an emergency session in Mumbai, the IMA Action Committee condemned the supersession of the Medical Council of India (MCI).

This action of the Government, at a juncture when the election to MCI has been announced, is unwarranted and malafide. The composition of the Board of Governors (BOG) itself is unacceptable. Directors of major National institutions would scarcely find time to administer more than 450 medical colleges and their UG and PG courses. Moreover, there is no representation to women and Registered Medical Practitioners.         
The Indian Medical Association (IMA) is convinced that supersession of MCI is only a smoke screen and ploy to prepare the ground for NMC and sabotage the democratic process of MCI. Why the Government was in a hurry to scuttle a democratic process needs an answer.     
 IMA’s concerns remain. Bringing MCI directly under the government control seems to be the plan to implementation of Bridge Courses, crosspathy and registration of non medical persons.

IMA demands that the BOG should refrain from taking any major policy decisions or amendments changing the character of the IMC Act.

IMA also demands that the election process in progress in MCI should be allowed to continue.   
IMA will continue its resistance to NMC Bill. Any intentions of the NMC Bill implemented through the appointed BOG will be fought with determination. 

  • This is the fourth time that BOG is being appointed. All the previous attempts were an abject failure. 
  • The eminent clinicians appointed have little exposure to the day-to-day administration of MCI. 
  • The Government has not cited any reason for superseding MCI.                     
  • MCI Election process is on.  It was inappropriate for the Government to supersede at this stage. This betrays a malafide intention. 
  • BOG should conform to the basic tenets of IMC Act and refrain from tinkering with its fundamental structure. 
  • Crosspathy, registration of non medical persons, bridge courses and mixing of syllabi are core concerns. The fidelity, identity and the privileges of the profession will be defended at any cost.       
  • 184 private medical colleges are awaiting recognition due to strict norms of the outgoing MCI team.  IMA, media and the people should keep vigil in this regard.
  • IMA foresees a highly difficult period ahead when checks and balances have been removed.
  • A generation of substandard doctors will be the legacy of this action.
  • IMA will keep its tryst with destiny and redeem the profession from dark forces. Every single challenge thrown at the profession will be repulsed with single minded. 

Dr KK Aggarwal
Padma Shri Awardee
President Elect Confederation of Medical Associations in Asia and Oceania   (CMAAO)
Group Editor-in-Chief IJCP Publications
President Heart Care Foundation of India
Immediate Past National President IMA

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