Karnataka medical council has also issued a public notice in this regard which stated that an examination of the audited financial statements revealed the KMC had not obtained financial assistance of “considerable quantum” and hence it is not a public authority, according to the RTI act.
Bengaluru: Sparking a huge controversy in the medical fraternity, the Karnataka medical council, one of the biggest state medical councils in the country have come out with a statement stating that it does not fall under the purview of the Right To Information Act ( RTI Act)
With this, the Karnataka Medical Council (KMC) also refused to provide any answer to queries that had been raised with it regarding the details of medical practitioners in Emergency Medicine practising in the state. The decision has ironically been upheld by the Karnataka Information Commission (KIC).
This is indeed in stark contrast to the response that had been given by the Tamil Nadu Medical Council, when a similar information was asked from it under the RTI Act.
The whole controversy erupted after Dr Manu Ayan, a specialist from Kerala filed an RTI to seek reply regarding the number of medical practitioners under emergency medicine, in Karnataka. A similar RTI was filed with the Tamil Nadu Medical Council last year which had revealed that 48 of the 59 doctors registered with the state’s council holding postgraduate degrees in emergency medicine which were actually unrecognized degrees.
To the surprise of the Karnataka doctor that filed the RTI with the council, the reply from the council came that it does not fall under the purview of the Right to Information Act 2005 as it is not a public authority and hence is not going to accept any queries coming to it under the law.
Dr Manu told TOI, “I was baffled when I saw the KMC’s response rejecting my application. It’s not so in any other state.”
Soon after the response was challenged with the Karnataka Information Commission, however, the KIC in the month of October 2018 ruled in the favour of the council, upholding its stand.
TOI reports that the state medical council has also issued a public notice in this regard which stated that an examination of the audited financial statements revealed the KMC had not obtained financial assistance of “considerable quantum” and hence it is not a public authority, according to the RTI act.
The move has indeed drawn sharp responses from the medical community as well as public health experts, which condemned the stand of the KMC
Public health expert, Dr Sylvia Karpagam stated to TOI, “In a way, the medical council is stating that it’s not accountable to anyone and nobody can question it.”
“Who are they answerable to then? The state government diluted the Karnataka Private Medical Establishment (KPME) amendments, stating that the KMC exists. And now the KMC, which is neither accountable to patients, says it is not accountable to the public as it’s above RTI,” she further added.