Medical Council of India, the apex medical regulator of the country, may just meet its end, as the government appointed committee four-member committee headed by NITI Aayog Vice-Chairman Arvind Panagariya is ready to submit its recommendations. Through preliminary discussions, sources have pointed out towards the committee’s strong inclination towards scrapping MCI and replacing it with another regulatory body.
What is also important to note is that it is likely to recommend that no member from the MCI’s staff be appointed to the new medical education commission being proposed “for building a modern education system, ” reports the Hindu
A committee headed by NITI Aayog Vice-Chairman Arvind Panagariya would submit its report on scrapping Medical Council of India (MCI) to the government next week in view of the poor regulation of medical education by the body. Prime Minister’s additional principal secretary P K Mishra and Niti Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant are also on board of the committee to look into the issue of poor regulation of medical education by MCI.
“The committee on MCI has finalised its report after several rounds of deliberation on the issue with stakeholders and experts. It is likely to submit its report next week,” a source said
The panel has firmed up the view that MCI should be scrapped to increase the number of medical colleges in the country for producing more doctors in view of growing demand for healthcare services, the source said.
A source at the Aayog further told The Hindu that another recommendation is likely to be that the new medical education commission comprise three verticals, each headed by eminent working professionals in the field of health, including from the private sector. “The committee will not like these professionals to be asked to give up their professional commitments to take up the responsibilities at the new regulator,” the source said. The separate verticals proposed are for overseeing curriculum, ethics and accreditation.
The three-member committee has proposed to set up an altogether new body with three pronged approach – career, enterprise and ethics.
Earlier this year, a parliamentary committee had called for revamping the MCI saying, it has failed in its role as a regulator which has led to a downfall in India’s medical education system.
The committee even asked the government to exercise its constitutional authority and take decisive action to restructure and revamp the regulatory system of medical education and practice.
“Due to massive failures of the MCI and lack of initiatives on the part of the government in unleashing reforms, there is total system failure due to which the medical education system is fast sliding downwards and the quality has been hugely sidelined in the context of increasing commercialisation of medical education and practice,” the report had said.
MCI has failed to create a curriculum that produces doctors suited to Indian context, specially in rural and poor urban areas, the panel had said.
It also failed to maintain uniform standards of undergraduate and postgraduate medical education.
“There is devaluation of merit in admission, particularly in private medical institutions due to prevalence of capitation fees, which make medical education available only to the rich and not necessarily to the most deserving,” the Committee said.
MCI failed in setting up medical colleges in country as per need, resulting in geographical mal-distribution of medical colleges, with clustering in some states and absence in several others, acute shortage of medical teachers and abysmal doctor-population ratio, the panel said.
Also, the Council has failed to oversee and guide the continuing medical education in the country, leaving this important task in the hands of the commercial private industry.
It also failed to instill respect for a code of ethics in medical professionals and take disciplinary action against doctors found violating the code, the report said.