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How will MCI be a fair body when candidates are forced to withdraw nominations?

New Delhi: The Medical Council of India (MCI) elections in states have landed in controversy with reports coming from states that candidates are being forced to withdraw their nominations under pressure from corporate houses and state governments.

The most recent case is that of Tamil Nadu where candidates have alleged that they are being pressurized from some power centres to withdraw their nominations.

Out of the 10 candidates from Tamil Nadu who were declared eligible to contest the election slated for December 10, two of them have withdrawn their nominations.

Reportedly, some candidates have alleged that three candidates, including Dr D Shantharam, vice chancellor of Dr M G R Medical University, Chennai, are being favoured by the state government and some corporate houses, and the rest are being forced to withdraw.

Candidates have also alleged that senior government officials have been calling them and pressurizing to withdraw nominations.

India Medical Times discussed the issue with some senior medical professionals to understand how they see this problem and ways to tackle it.

Dr M C Gupta, a New Delhi based medico-legal consultant, agreed that such tactics are used by powerful candidates. He said, “I agree with this pretty well, such things do happen.”

Dr Kunal Saha, president, People for Better Treatment (PBT), opined, “Forcing anybody from any form of election would be the ultimate assault in any democratic society and considering the significance of election of members, I would say that it should be considered as a heinous crime if anyone attempts to force someone out of the ongoing MCI election. The allegations in regard to the present MCI election from various corners must be probed and dealt in the most transparent and stringent manner.”

Dr Saha went on to say that the notion that this is happening seemingly with the knowledge of the union health ministry is absolutely astounding. But then again the health ministry has miserably failed to curb the spread of corruption in the medical system, he said.

“They were forced to dissolve the last MCI only under increasing public pressure after then MCI president and a disgraced medical don, Dr Ketan Desai, was caught red-handed by the CBI for taking bribe from a private medical college. Indian government must assure a fair and impartial MCI election. The thousands of good and honest Indian doctors also cannot shy away from this ongoing atrocity with the MCI election and unless ordinary people of India are convinced that MCI is made of only honest doctors, the public trust on the medical community is likely to erode further,” Dr Saha, a US-based private consultant in HIV/AIDS, added.

Dr Gupta suggested, “Vigilant groups within the medical profession and the concerned candidates (other candidates who do not employ undesirable techniques) need to raise legal objections at appropriate forums/courts etc.”

Dr Saha said the MCI election should be taken as seriously as a parliament or assembly election by the Indian government. He suggested, “It should be conducted under the supervision of an Election Commission who must be a trustworthy figure with impeccable character and preferably from the ‘non-doctor’ section of our society which should avoid possible conflict of interest.”

He further said, “I fail to understand why the MCI elections are being conducted under the state medical councils whose credibility in India today is not much above zero. Allegations of corruption are rampant against the state medical councils.”

Questioning the whole election process, Dr Saha said, “Obviously, one would be naive to imagine that they would conduct a fair election and statistics available in India clearly supports this notion. Look at the election results – most medical councils and universities have chosen the MCI members who won their election ‘unopposed’. Is this the picture of a real and fair democratic election? How many elections in the country are won without contest?”

“The reason is not difficult to fathom. The mafias of Indian medicine are still running the show in most medical councils. Obviously, most ordinary and honest doctors are fearful about retaliatory action and they refrain from contesting the medical mafias even though they are in favour of an honest medical council. A complete transformation is necessary to get rid of the deep rot in the present healthcare delivery system,” he argued.

by Abhay Anand

11 Comments

  1. agrwl agrwl Monday, April 21, 2014

    need for common licentiate exam
    sir, one of the major cause of medical negligence in india is because, scores of pvt medical colleges were recognized by ketan desai on the basis of corruption. their facilities and faculty exist only on paper. they openly advertise in news papers on daily basis, their rates for admission and for passing them from their own pvt universities. nowhere quality of student admitted or quality of doctor produced is checked by govt. these dubious doctors cause major medical negligence. it is high time govt administer licentiate exam to know if they have basic minimum knowlege before allowing them to play with our life. or does govt consider citizens as gunia pigs ?

  2. amit kumar mishra amit kumar mishra Tuesday, March 4, 2014

    you are right ma’am. everywhere backing is required. u r not any effective person u will be treated like an animal.but this condition is not only i MCI its everywhere. In hospitals you Doctors don’t want to talk to patients if u talk then only in a very rude manner.But if that patient is belonging of any effective leader u would like to serve in a very best manner.

  3. B.Ravi Kumar B.Ravi Kumar Wednesday, December 11, 2013

    M.C.I. elections are FIXED MATCHES.

  4. G.Saikumar G.Saikumar Wednesday, December 11, 2013

    When majority of MCI members are nominated by the politicians in power,the question of honest and transparent functioning of MCI does not arise.The corruption in MCI is very much visible and palpable.Most of the private medical colleges are run by the people under protection of local politicians or one of the registered political parties of our country.Direct elections for few seats will not make much difference. Herealso private medical college managements are not willing to take any chance.This year election saw entry of members from private medical colleges in A.P.When private medical colleges are showing private practitioners as their regular faculty and collecting huge amounts as capitation fee without fear,It is clear that political support is important and not the MCI members.Why only two MCI inspectors for assessing all departments personally?.Surprise Head count through Video conferencing is easy and should have been introduces to save money and time but why this method is not even proposed by MCI?.One year ban on any faculty to get counted again is silly and risky for the faculty as once signed as faculty for a college,he can be kicked out and he is not welcome in any other private medical college for next 12 months.This was introduced to help private medical college managements.It is very strange that non-practicing subjects like anatomy faculty are forced to show residential proof in the same area of employment.They are not required for any duty after the college hours.Already MCI had shown lot of affection towards private medical colleges and pressurizing candidates to withdraw from elections for minority of MCI members is not at all necessary.The only way to improve the functioning of MCI is to get 80% members through direct elections from medical colleges allowing representation from all subjects.

  5. Yashodhara pradeep Yashodhara pradeep Tuesday, December 10, 2013

    I would like to say the truth is that many many eligible candidates do not even apply because of mere fact that as they are not having any backing or setting in the system or they will be pressurized to withdraw and most of the times things are already set. Only those who have some backing or setting, apply and than according to their positions and backing they will be allowed to contest otherwise they will be forced to withdraw and set candidates will be selected. This is not in only in MCI it happens all over India for any higher post. I would say that all higher post in the Government or in Institutions or departments should be term and rotatory postings. If Indian system wants to progress and willing for ideas. The option of AAP is EYE OPENER for every system.

  6. Dr. s. K. Roy Chaudhary Dr. s. K. Roy Chaudhary Monday, December 9, 2013

    Comment is far from truth. I have personal experience of MCI elections. They are always managed. Dr. Saha like any other Indian/ person of Indian origin has every right to express his views. We may not agree with Dr. Saha on many issues but his views about removing corruption from all elections including election to MCI has to be supported by all right thinking people. Eligibility criteria for membership should not have conflict of interest

  7. Dr. Bala Shetty Dr. Bala Shetty Sunday, December 8, 2013

    VCs and faculty members of all Private and deemed Universities have not been included in the present MCI panel. Most of the members are nominated. Hence this MCI election is not valid. It will not be up held in the court of Law.
    The present election is just a waste of time, energy and money.

  8. B.Ravi Kumar B.Ravi Kumar Sunday, December 8, 2013

    Just because you have started teaching and retired after 20 years does not mean you are a good teacher or a good clinician. There are so many examples. I know at least two examples at GOKULAM MEDICAL COLLEGE, VENGARAMOOD, TRIVANDRUM DISTRICT,KERALA.
    MOB:9349312325

  9. B.Ravi Kumar B.Ravi Kumar Sunday, December 8, 2013

    I hope you are witnessing the TSUNAMI of CHANGE on 8/12/2013. Like the aam admi party which stands for PRINCIPLES the M.C.I. also should be free from CORRUPTION.The council should be freed from the clutches of certain vested interests.
    To illustrate the point I like to bring to your notice criminal case(under I.P.C.304 A) no 2964/2013 for which the trial will start on 12/3/2014. The death of a 24 yr old was on on 14/12/2004. I hope you have noticed the UNDUE DELAY which smacks of criminal conspiracy between the culpable docs and the experts. for details contact 9349312325

  10. Dr.Elango Dr.Elango Sunday, December 8, 2013

    Sir
    It is unfotunate, that if the candidates are forced to withdraw. Suitable amendments may be made that only teachers currently in teaching profession atleast with minimum period of three years alone eligible to contest for a post of MCI member. Politicising medical education will ruin the profession.Already medical education become a buisiness. So if the trend goes like this, India will lose the ordinary, uninfluential genious. In most of the states money,caste, and politics plays very dominant role in professional bobies.None of the field in India is without corruption. A person with out even a sinle day of teaching experience how he will do justice for the post?
    Prof.Dr.Elango

  11. DR BABUBHAI J PATEL DR BABUBHAI J PATEL Sunday, December 8, 2013

    dr kunal saha has no business to comment on mci elections.election process is totally transperent in india. india is very democratic country. every eligible candidate is free to contest at mci elections. baseless allegations has no place in democracy. why dr saha himself is not contesting? he has to practice in usa and put his nose inindia)selections?

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