MCI has failed, rejig it, says Parliament panel
The Parliamentary standing committee on health has called for a complete restructuring of the Medical Council of India (MCI), arguing that it has failed in its mandate as a regulator of medical education and profession. Tearing into the functioning of the MCI, the house panel recommended that the Act under which it was set up be scrapped and a new legislation be drafted "at the earliest".
There was hardly any aspect of the functioning of the council that did not come in for stinging criticism in the report of the committee tabled in the Rajya Sabha on Tuesday. The health ministry too came in for strong criticism for being a mute spectator for decades and not taking initiative to step in and stem the rot.
The committee observed that the whole focus of the MCI has been on licensing of medical colleges and ethics was completely lost out in this process. It recommended the immediate bifurcation of the two major areas - medical education and practice of ethical conduct by medical professionals - so that they receive full attention.
The report said "The need for major institutional changes in the regulatory oversight of the medical profession... is so urgent that it cannot be deferred any longer." It added, "If the medical education system has to be saved from total collapse, the government can no longer look the other way and has to exercise its constitutional authority and take decisive and exemplary action to restructure and revamp India's regulatory system of medical education and practice."
"The situation has gone far beyond the point where incremental tweaking of the existing system or piecemeal approach can give the contemplated dividends. That is why the committee is convinced that the MCI cannot be remedied according to the existing provisions of the Indian Medical Council Act, 1956, which is certainly outdated," it stated.
The committee observed that "the much needed reforms will have to be led by the central government" as "the MCI can no longer be entrusted with that responsibility in view of its massive failures".