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Is it illegal for doctors registered in a State Medical Register to practise medicine in another state?

New Delhi: Union Health Minister J P Nadda recently stated in a written reply in the Rajya Sabha that the Indian Medical Council Act, 1956, prohibits a person other than a medical practitioner enrolled on a State Medical Register to practise medicine in the State.

The minister further said that punishment of imprisonment for a term which may extend to one year or with a fine which may extend to Rs 1,000 or both is also prescribed, according to a statement issued on May 5.

So, does it mean that doctors registered in the medical register of one state cannot legally practise medicine in another state?

New Delhi-based medico-legal expert Dr M C Gupta doesn’t think so.

Dr Gupta told India Medical Times, “The minister has made a wrong statement in the Parliament. It is unfortunate. It is further unfortunate that the MCI and the IMA prefer to keep silent. It is indeed a sorry state of affairs.”

According to Dr Gupta, “As per the Indian Medical Council Act, 1956, a doctor registered with any one state medical council gets his name automatically included in the Indian Medical Register and he is thereby entitled to practise medicine anywhere in India.”

The MCI Ethics Committee also observed in a meeting held on September 2, 2004 that “there is no necessity of registration in more than one state medical council because any doctor, who has registered with any state medical council is automatically registered in the Indian Medical Register and also by virtue of Section 27 of the IMC Act, 1956, a person, whose name is included in the IMR, can practise anywhere in India.”

Following the statement made by Nadda, Dr Gupta has written to the Indian Medical Association (IMA), the Medicos Legal Action Group (MLAG), and the Qualified Private Medical Practitioners Association (QPMPA) asking them to protest against such misinformed remarks and write to the minister for an immediate rectification and clarification.

Response to the same from the above-mentioned medical representative bodies is awaited. Such confusion can impact the lives of thousands of doctors practising in different states who are left hanging without surety of their own legal status.

by Namrata Choudhury


  1. P.K. Manmadhan P.K. Manmadhan Wednesday, September 25, 2019

    Why should there be different medical councils as per the number of states and UTs. Drs practice on patients. Patients have no religion or territorial complications except for some regional illnesses like guillan barre syndrome etc. Hence qualified drs should be considered as one team common to India. Once registered at one of the councils, their services should be accepted and recognised across India.

    If it can not be done, what is the great achievement in removing art.370 or that of having a common card for all services/ benefits across India ?

  2. Dr Amit A. Rangari Dr Amit A. Rangari Friday, September 6, 2019

    As per IMC Act, it is binding on state medical council to forward to MCI (IMR) the name of RMP registered in its state medical council register . But not vice-versa. Persons registered with a state medical council cannot be registered in MCI, though they can get IMR certificate due to thier registration in a state medical council. This is only for record keeping purposes. Nothing to do with right regarding license to practice modern medicine all over India though it comes in writing on IMR certificate. In case of litigation , a patient can approach with complain and fight his/her case in a state medical council against only those doctors who are registered with it. And state medical council can take action against only those doctors who are registered with it, not against the quacks. Unregistered and quacks (those who are not legally entitled to practice a particular system of medicine in a particular area) are to be directly punished without trial. Now in past ,state medical council were more powerful. Even if MCI punished to remove the names of doctors from its IMR , some south India state medical council continued their names in thier state register and thus they were able to practice modern medicine in jurisdrication of that state. Multiple reciprocal state registration regarding practicing modern medicine is a prevalent legal system in India. Even if you go for one day workshop/conference in another state and show or practice on patient there for just half an hour you need to do reciprocal registration in that state. Even if you are registered with MCI you have to compulsarly register with respective state medical council if you intend to practice modern medicine in that particular state jurisdiction. It is clearly mentioned in Maharashtra Medical council website FAQ point no 7. This is not so in Dental Council Act. Thier is no reciprocal registration in dental council. A dentist registered with a state dental council can practice in all India and doesn’t need to do registration in other states. Probably in upcoming NMC there is one registration all India for doctors practising modern medicine (allopathy), which though appears comfortable, but is not favourable (suppose if a doctor is prosecuted in a case and his name is removed from a particular state medical register , currently he could go and practice in another state in which he is already registered with multiple registration system available). Hounarable minister sir is legally right as per prevalent existing law. Many high court and supreme court descion also say so.

  3. dr.k.p.singh dr.k.p.singh Friday, February 26, 2016

    sir medical practioner ke leye kya karna hoga maine Bsc Bio se kar rakha hai or mai medical sector mai jana chahta hun kya karu pls help mee urgent sir kindly help thanks

  4. jaydeep jaydeep Friday, December 25, 2015

    requird registration number of all the drs of ahmedabad

  5. xyz xyz Saturday, August 22, 2015

    but many of the hospitals n colleges do ask their respective state registration, otherwise they wont allow to attend interview or practice. even through we have IMR certificate. dnt understand is it correct?

  6. Dr. Tapit Dr. Tapit Monday, June 8, 2015

    In regard with this article, I was searching MCI official site and incidentally found this:

    Under Form Submission rules,
    “8. Those candidates who are already holding registration with State Medical Councils need not apply for further registration with Medical Council of India as their names are enrolled in the Indian Medical Register through the State Medical Councils. The applications for such cases will be rejected. However they may apply for issue of Indian Medical Registration Certificate. ”


  7. dr dipak thorve dr dipak thorve Saturday, May 16, 2015

    then all of these politicuans must behave like aam aadmi,a common man out of their constituency or bonded to live in it fir 5yrs if nothing official to leave the place……..ur there to imprive systemm not to create ussues why r u forgot this simple thing….. we take medical education in english not in state language…….be the gentleman first …

  8. Dr.Sampath Dr.Sampath Friday, May 15, 2015

    Once a doctor is registered in any State medical council,it should automatically mean that he or she can practice anywhere in India as all the State medical councils come under the jurisdiction of MCI.
    Now a days, many specialists are working in corporate/private hospitals of a state which is different from the state where they are registered.
    Similarly doctor may do his/her PG in any state of India and register his qualification in the original state.
    MCI should immediately give a clarification that registration in any state medical council is valid across the country

  9. dr s m c shetty dr s m c shetty Thursday, May 14, 2015

    every time a doctors working in armed forces has to register every time he is transsferd which GOI is
    not doing. dr. can not work in another state in disaster. mci should clarfy this

  10. Dr. Kapoor PS Dr. Kapoor PS Thursday, May 14, 2015

    Statement by Hon. Union Health Minister is unjustified & creates confusion & tension amongst doctors practising in different States while being registered in one State/UT. As per rules all Registered Medical Practitioners with any State/UT are fully registered with MCI. Why MCI & IMA are silent over this sensitive issue ? An early clearance of the confusion by Hon. Union Health Minister is highly desirable & for that both MCI & IMA HQ are required to convince/persuade him to withdraw the unjustifiable statement.
    Author : Medical Jurisprudence

  11. Dr Bande b d Dr Bande b d Thursday, May 14, 2015

    Dr Gupta is more right than the hon minister. See, the problem comes when things are not in black n white. Section 22 of IMC Act 1956 says, its mandatory for the state medical council to send all the new registrations added in state register every april, to MCI. Does that happen? Probably no! In this situation all names will not be there in MCI register. Then legally one cant be eligible to practice out of the state. Its as simple non problem made into a problem! per section 27 of IMC Act 1956.
    Solution,..Make all doctors eligible to practice all over the country, no matter which state they are registered.

  12. Guru Guru Thursday, May 14, 2015

    “As per the Indian Medical Council Act, 1956, a doctor registered with any one state medical council gets his name automatically included in the Indian Medical Register and he is thereby entitled to practice medicine anywhere in India.
    it is a privilege of an qualified Registered medical practitioner to practice medicine anywhere in India by virtue of his name entered in to the Indian Medical council register
    M C I must clarify this fact .
    I M A must take up this issue and put full point to all this controversies.
    Looks like one more type of attack on hapless doctors.

  13. DR JAI KISHAN DR JAI KISHAN Thursday, May 14, 2015

    For doctors possessing MBBS/ MD/MS/DM/MCh degrees or Diploma courses recognized by Medical Council of India there should be no bar to practice anywhere in India.

    However in case these degrees if not recognized by MCI but state institutions are running these type of courses, imparting education and awarding degrees then such doctors be eligible to practice in that state only and not in other states.

    Some states are having unqualified experience based doctors entered in their Medical Council register as registered medical practitioners , such like RMPs should only be allowed to practice in their own state only and not in any other state in India

  14. Mrs. D. Saroja Mrs. D. Saroja Thursday, May 14, 2015

    We need more matured and experienced people on such important posts that concerns the health of Indian people.

    Misinformation and indecisiveness is the order of the day and the adviser to the minister are equally responsible.
    The burning example is the delay in issuing of appointment orders to senior faculty that were interviewed for various faculty positions way back in month of September /December 2014 in a premier institution of the capital of this country . A decision taken by learned body of some 10 experts is being looked at with suspicion , merely on advise of a rival faculty association that DOES NOT WANT THEIR OWN FACULTY COLLEAGUES TO GET PROMOTED.

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