The Indian Medical Association (IMA) State unit has welcomed the decision of the State Travancore-Cochin Medical Council (TCMC) to make it mandatory for doctors to renew their registration.

The IMA State president R. Ramesh and secretary J. Rajagopalan Nair in a statement on Monday said the decision of the TCMC, the Medical Council for the State based on the Medical Council of India (MCI) Act, to renew registration was no cause for concern as it would help the TCMC update the register and thereby create a database of modern medical practitioners in the State.

The IMA State unit's response has come in the wake of the opposition by a section of doctors to the renewal of registration. The TCMC directed all the doctors who got their registration before 2004 to renew their registration with the TCMC before December 31 this year.

The doctors require 30 hours of CME (Continuing Medical Education) credit for the renewal of registration. A group of doctors who opposed the renewal of registration had said the TCMC's decision was against the MCI Act and an insult to the doctors.

Dr. Ramesh told The Hindu here on Monday that the IMA had strongly objected to the need of 30 accredited CME hours to be submitted along with the renewal registration. He said he had represented the issue before the TCMC and demanded that the council should not strictly enforce the clause of the CME hours this year as 30,000 practising doctors would find it very difficult to acquire it in a very short period of five months. He said the TCMC had assured the IMA that it would not insist on accredited CME hours this year.

The TCMC had also informed the IMA that the process of renewal of registration would be utilised for updating the register by deleting those who had expired or left the place or stopped medical practice, Dr. Ramesh said. Admitting that there were some quacks who had got their names enrolled in the register, the IMA State president urged all doctors to support the TCMC move to update the register as it would help eliminate quackery in the State. The TCMC had assured the IMA that no doctor would be harassed for accredited hours, he added.

According to many doctors, the TCMC's decision is in pursuance of the MCI (Professional Conduct, Etiquette and Ethics) Regulation, 2002 which says a physician should participate in professional meetings as part of CME programmes for at least 30 hours every five years organised by reputed professional academic bodies or any other authorised organisations. As per the regulation, the compliance of this requirement has to be informed regularly to MCI or the State Medical Councils.

Dr. K.V. Babu, a Payyannur-based doctor who is IMA Central committee member, told The Hindu that any violation of the regulation would amount to professional misconduct and might result in removal from the register of the name of the delinquent registered practitioner. Dr. Babu said the TCMC was implementing the code of medical ethics in letter and spirit.

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