Only doctors can Appeal against action taken by State Medical Councils: NMC
New Delhi: Only a medical practitioner can now appeal before the National Medical Commission (NMC) against any action taken by the State Medical Councils. Although earlier patients or any other person had the right to approach the apex medical regulator NMC with complaints against a doctor, now this relief of appeal has become limited to the members of the medical fraternity only.The...
New Delhi: Only a medical practitioner can now appeal before the National Medical Commission (NMC) against any action taken by the State Medical Councils. Although earlier patients or any other person had the right to approach the apex medical regulator NMC with complaints against a doctor, now this relief of appeal has become limited to the members of the medical fraternity only.
The confirmation regarding this came from the NMC itself, which rejected several appeals by the families of the patients referring to the National Medical Commission Act 2019, reports TOI.
While rejecting the appeals by the families of patients NMC referred to Section 30(3) of the NMC Act 2019 and confirmed that only doctors or medical professionals who are aggrieved by the State Medical Council orders will be allowed to appeal before the Ethics and Medical Registration Board (EMRB) of the top medical regulator.
Section 30(3) of the NMC Act 2019 reads, "(3) A medical practitioner or professional who is aggrieved by any action taken by a State Medical Council under sub-section (2) may prefer an appeal to the Ethics and Medical Registration Board against such action, and the decision, if any, of the Ethics and Medical Registration Board thereupon shall be binding on the State Medical Council, unless a second appeal is preferred under sub-section (4)."
Although the NMC Act 2019 has limited the scope of appeal for the families of the patients, earlier the Medical Council of India (MCI), which has now been replaced by the NMC had given the power of appeal to those people as well who are not from the medical community.
Acting on the Supreme Court's directive in 2004, the erstwhile MCI had introduced the amendments in its Code of Ethics Regulations, 2002.
One such amendment was included in Clause 8.8 of the Code of Ethics Regulations. It read, "8.8 Any person aggrieved by the decision of the State Medical Council on any complaint against a delinquent physician, shall have the right to file an appeal to the MCI within a period of 60 days from the date of receipt of the order passed by the said Medical Council:
Provided that the MCI may, if it is satisfied that the appellant was prevented by sufficient cause from presenting the appeal within the aforesaid period of 60 days, allow it to be presented within a further period of 60 days."
However, after NMC took over the MCI, the National Medical Commission Act, 2019, also replaced the Indian Medical Council Act. The new NMC Act limited the scope of appeal before the Ethics and Medical Registration Board and restricted it for the members of the medical fraternity only.
As per the latest media report by the Times of India, referring to the NMC Act, the top medical regulator the appeals by the families of the patients and mentioned, "in its meeting on October 6, 2021, reiterated that only medical practitioners or professionals should be allowed to file an appeal before EMRB under Section 30(3) of the NMC Act."
"Patients should not be allowed to file appeal before EMRB" under the section. The letter went on to state that it has been decided by EMRB that all appeals of non-doctors "filed on or after coming into force of the NMC Act, 2019 with effect from September 25, 2020 shall be returned," further read the rejection letter issued by NMC.
Barsha completed her MA from the University of Burdwan, West Bengal in 2018. Having a knack for Journalism she joined Medical Dialogues back in 2020. She mainly covers news about medico legal cases, NMC/DCI updates, medical education issues including the latest updates about medical and dental colleges in India. She can be contacted at email@example.com.