A cure that may be worse than the disease


1. A cure that may be worse than the disease
  • The new rule: Families of patients can no longer appeal to the National Medical Commission (NMC) against decisions of state medical councils, reports TOI. The appeals are being rejected citing Section 30(3) of the NMC Act of 2019, which replaced the Indian Medical Council Act. Section 30(3) refers to the right of only medical practitioners or professionals who are aggrieved by any action of a state medical council and allows an appeal to the Ethics and Medical Registration Board (EMRB) of the NMC.
  • The old rule: In May 2004, the MCI's Ethics Regulations 2002 were amended to include two clauses, one of which gave "any person aggrieved by the decision of state medical councils on any complaint against a delinquent physician the right to file an appeal to the MCI" while the other gave MCI the power to transfer a matter from state medical councils if it was not decided within a period of six months from the date of the complaint.
  • This means: "This change in the new NMC Act has been introduced just to save accused doctors. Why did they have to change the MCI law? How can only doctors be allowed to appeal but not patients or their families?" asks Himanshu Singhal, father of a two-year-old boy who died in February 2020 allegedly due to the negligence of doctors in a corporate hospital in Delhi.
  • The cure: The NMC was brought because it was deemed that the MCI had gone beyond incremental improvements and needed a complete revamp.

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