ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Subversion of an Institution

The Medical Council of India lurches from one crisis to another.

Beginning in 2001 when Ketan Desai, the then president of the Medical Council of India (MCI), was ordered by the Delhi High Court to step down following “misuse of office” for “minting money”, the regulatory body has been at the centre of controversy. After a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) inquiry cleared him, Desai was back at the helm in 2009 only to be arrested in 2010 for taking a bribe of Rs 2 crore to award recognition to a medical college in Punjab. The MCI was then dissolved and a seven-member board appointed in May 2010 for a year. The central government recently promulgated an ordinance to nominate a board of governors for another year. How ever, all members of the previous board have been replaced. Health activists and prominent members of the health community have written an open letter to the prime minister demanding a review of the reasons behind this move and the manner in which it was made.

The link between unregulated medical education in colleges that have limited faculty and infrastructure resources and the deteriorating quality of healthcare has been evident over the past decade. That medical education is a lucrative commercial transaction is well known and the interests that control it are well- entrenched in the system. To speak of reforming the system and ensuring ethical practices is hypocritical when the apex regulatory body does not generate either trust or respect of the medical community.

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