Chennai: Taking cognizance of a PIL seeking action on the false representation of associate doctors as professors during Medical Council of India (MCI) inspections, the Madras High Court has directed the Medical Education Department to furnish its inputs to the apex medical regulator.
The PIL came after media reports highlighted that assistant professors in 22 government medical colleges in the state of Tamil Nadu had impersonated as professors during the annual inspections carried out by the council for the last five years.
In May 2018, Medical dialogues had highlighted in detail that the government doctors under the banner of Tamil Nadu Government Doctors Association alleged that in a bid to renew ‘permission’ for continuing MBBS courses in many of its 22 medical colleges, the state department has allegedly misled the Medical Council of India (MCI) by presenting associate doctors as professors for five years. The organization had also launched a “non-cooperation” protest ahead of inspections by the MCI.
Adding that this deceitfulness may lead to de-recognition of colleges, Dr K Senthil, Association President said, “Every year, assistant and associate professors are posted as ‘professors’ in these colleges for a day. They appear before the inspection committee and return to their regular posts a day after inspection.”
“This fraudulence won’t happen again even it means that the state medical colleges have to lose recognition,” Dr Senthil added.
Meanwhile, the halt in the promotions of the professors was also brought up during the protest. The government doctors had given their ultimatum that they are not going to succumb to being falsely represented as Professors during MCI inspections, even if it means loss of medical college recognition.
Later, the Director of Medical Education Dr A Edwin Joe announced that nearly 7,000 doctors in government medical colleges would be re-designated or promoted as per MCI norms and nomenclature
The Hindu reports that a representation was also submitted to the Medical Council of India in this regard on May 12 and the latter had called for comments from the Health Secretary on June 1.
Meanwhile, a PIL was also filed by one A Narayanan of Change India, a non-governmental organisation, sought the MCI to review the entire process of inspections, approval, recognition and permission by the council to medical colleges for UG and PG courses, and bring out an objective and transparent set of norms for granting approval/ recognition to prevent fraudulent practices.
“If these fraudulent practices are an indicator, the average citizen is at serious risk of at the hands of unethical and ill-qualified doctors rather than on account of illness,” the petitioner stated
TOI reports that when the plea came up for hearing recently, a division bench of Justice S Manikumar and Justice Subramonium Prasad dispoding the PIL stated, “MCI has acted on the representation dated May 12 sent by the Tamil Nadu Doctors Association and sought for an urgent comment from the medical education department to take further necessary action. In the above-said circumstances, we only direct the department to furnish the comments to MCI, if not done earlier within eight weeks.”
On receipt of comments from the department the MCI has been further directed to proceed in accordance with law, the court added.