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Updated: May 4, 2010 23:11 IST

Efforts on to restore tainted MCI back to health: Azad

Sandeep Joshi
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Ghulam Nabi Azad
The Hindu
Ghulam Nabi Azad

Reiterating that the Centre was committed to making the medical education system transparent, Health Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad on Tuesday said efforts were being taken to restore the credibility of the Medical Council of India (MCI) that has taken a serious dent following the arrest of its president, Ketan Desai, on corruption charges. Replying to a calling attention motion in the Rajya Sabha, Mr. Azad said: “I have already referred this case to the Law Ministry…I am awaiting its response. Whatever the Law Ministry suggests, I will go with it.” He pointed out that Mr. Desai was chosen in MCI elections monitored by the Supreme Court and the government would like to take a correct line in the case.

Seeking more powers for his ministry to deal with cases of corruption in the MCI, Mr. Azad said Parliament should frame a new law to fix the tenure of its functionaries and give the government more powers so that more effective steps could be taken. But the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Health had vetoed such a proposal, he said, adding the existing law needed to be amended to make it foolproof.

“The provisions of the Indian Medical Council Act, 1956 are inadequate to ensure transparent, healthy and constructive decision-making within the council. The government is examining several possible avenues to achieve these objectives, taking into account both the present legal status and the essential elements of reform that would be necessary.”

Blaming corruption in medical education on shortage of teaching staff and colleges, the Minister asked all State governments to increase the retirement age to 65, while efforts should be made to add medical seats across the country.

Earlier, raising serious questions over the functioning of the MCI and the government remaining a mute spectator to rampant corruption in the council, Brinda Karat (CPI-M) demanded fresh legislation which would ensure its accountability and democratisation, and parliamentary oversight. She said political leaders running medical institutions meant extra powers to the private management lobby to help the people who wanted to manipulate the system.

‘Rampant corruption'

Kalraj Mishra (BJP) said rampant corruption in medical education was forcing students to cough up Rs. 35 lakh-50 lakh for a seat. For a postgraduate seat, it was Rs.70 lakh-Rs.1 crore.

Karan Singh (Congress) said the MCI standards had deteriorated in the last few years, leading to creation of sub-standard doctors.

Jayanthi Natarajan (Congress) demanded exemplary action against MCI members and asked the Centre to bring out a list of colleges inspected by the MCI teams.

Pl,note not only corruption with mci, every where only quantum & intensity differs. pl remember justice krisna iyer V NEED NEURO PSYCHIATRIC TREATMENT ONE & ALL.

from:  M.Dhanasekar
Posted on: May 10, 2010 at 13:26 IST

Corruption in high office is rampant. Each and every time govt. renewed it firmness to tackle it with law available in the country. But the lasw and corruption goes hands in hands. The luke warm approach to couurption in public life is the root cause. In corruption case the assets gathered from corruption must be consficated with immediate effect. The people holding high offices should be in public scanner for economic dealing of his own and family members and close people having frequent access to the officer concerned.

from:  M. Saidullah
Posted on: May 6, 2010 at 20:28 IST

Whoever said the license- inspector Raj was over? What Ketan Desai did is merely a reflection of rampant corruption in MCI. High time we scrapped the 5-decades old MCI regulations and replaced it with something more relevant in keeping with changing times as Rajeev Kapoor mentions.

from:  Dr S K Mishra
Posted on: May 5, 2010 at 21:10 IST

Its good to see that our Govt had taken all considerable steps for the damage control caused by tainting of MCI office.
Our govt must also check the flourishing of numerous Dental Colleges in India, out of which most of them are not actually contributing professional dentists to our society but just degrading the quality of dentistry in India.

from:  ajay gupta
Posted on: May 5, 2010 at 15:01 IST

This is one major issue rocking the country, though unfortunately the video media did not give it the importance it deserved. There is much more to this then the eye can see or do we want to turn a blind eye.
Hon Health Minister should take a cue here and clean up the whole system.
MCI is a body constituted by the parliament; it has found to be extremely corrupted and there is enough evidence to prove it. from what information is available, the entire management team of MCI seems to be a part of this corruption. President, secretaries, members of various committees and the inspectors appointed to inspect the various medical colleges have some hand on what is going on. It is time for the Health minister to disband the whole organization and make adhoc teams to run it, till new legislation brings about the necessary changes as well appoint a committee to revisit and re frame the entire guidelines for overseeing the medical education in India.
At the same time all colleges which have been inspected and given permissions should be re-inspected.
There are lot of regulations which need to be brought about to bring our medical education at par with the world. With more than 280 medical colleges in the country being controlled by 88 individual universities, there is no similarity in the syllabus as well as the examinations being held for these colleges. We also need to look at the modern requirements of what a medical college in 2010 requires and necessary changes should be brought about. For example, 20 beds are a must in an eye department of a medical college, when in today's world, 99% of the eye surgery is day care surgery and does not require beds. To maintain these beds the college has to use up important space as well as employ staff to man these beds. Same is the situation for dermatology and ENT!
The requirements of starting a medical college will list what is the equipment required in the operation theatre, but at no stage there are guidelines mentioned about the building standards including airconditioning, electrical, gases and waste disposal standards. Thus one can have an operating block with 10 theatres, but airconditioning is done through window airconditioners which is the bane of any operation theatre. In the western world, there are guidelines given for each and every aspect of a hospital building including the type of materials to be used.
Staff requirements mentioned in the regulations is Jurassic and in these modern days of hospital management is totally out of sync. Medical colleges are required to maintain such a high figure of staff, that it become a financial drain for any professionally run college and hospital.
Thus there is lot to be done and now is the time to remedy the malady - once for all. It will take lot of time and energy for this to be achieved. I hope our health minister has that time and energy!

from:  Rajeev Kapoor
Posted on: May 5, 2010 at 12:47 IST

The MCI chairman must get exemplary punishment if found guilty. Medicine is a noble profession and introducing corruption into it not only has moral or ethical repercussion but also a serious consequence on human life. We can afford to have sub standard engineer, economist, politician but certainly not doctors. Human life is invaluable and no compromise can be done in that. The medical seats are indeed traded for lakhs of rupees and govt. must act to arrest such a trend. On one hand, we are not able to produce large number of good doctors because of lack of seats in medical colleges, and on the other hand private institutions are making a highly profitable unethical business out of it. This has to be stopped at any cost.

from:  Biswajit
Posted on: May 5, 2010 at 01:15 IST

It is commendable that the government is seriously looking for a legislation to end corruption in MCI.I am of the opinion that the Rs 500 Cr scam in the MCI was not created by Mr Desai only.He is one of the receiving end of this scam but the role of other people like owners of Private medical college,Principals etc shoud be investigated.

from:  DR HARESHWAR
Posted on: May 5, 2010 at 00:10 IST

Power corrupts & absolute power corrupts absoloutely. The MCI has been given a lot of power with the intention of freeing it from political interference. Unfortunately it has failed the expectations of the people. At one time Dr. Ketan desai weas reverred as an upright and strict person who made all private medical colleges fall in line to adhere to MCI norms to maintain the standards of medical education. Somewhere, sometime his priorities have apparently changed. This problem can only be sorted out when our top leadership is consistently non-corrupt for at least ten years in succession. I am patiently waiting for that era - woh subah kabhi to aayegi.

from:  rajeev agarwal
Posted on: May 4, 2010 at 23:27 IST
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