Unrecognized MRCEM: Delhi HC denies relief to Doctor whose Additional Emergency Medicine qualification cancelled by MCI
New Delhi: Denying interim relief to an Indian origin doctor practising in the UK, the Delhi High Court has refused to intervene with the Medical Council of India's (MCI) decision of cancelling the registration of his additional qualification in Emergency Medicine, that was acquired by the medico via offshore training in Bangalore-based medical college
The decision came following the doctor's petition challenging the MCI's decision to revoke the registration of the additional qualification granted to the medical practitioner. In his plea the doctor stated that the qualification was earlier recognized by the council.
The doctor, who is identified as Dr Srinivas had completed his MBBS Degree Program from Ukraine. He claimed to have completed his PG degree in Medicine from Membership of Royal College of Emergency Medicine, United Kingdom (MRCEM) and had been practising as an MD in Scotland, United Kingdom.
He had applied for registration of the said qualification as an additional qualification under Section 26 of the Indian Medical Council Act, 1956 (hereafter ‘the Act’).
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In April 2016, MCI granted the said registration of additional qualification to the petitioner. However, the same was later revoked by MCI on basis that the petitioner is not entitled to registration in the United Kingdom in the concerned speciality on the basis of the said additional qualification and therefore, the same cannot be recognised in terms of Section 13 of the Act.
Section 13 of the Medical Council Act reads;
"... but no person possessing any such qualification shall be entitled to enrolment on any State Medical Register unless he is a citizen of India and has undergone such practical training after obtaining that qualification as may be required by the rules or regulations in force in the country granting the qualification, or if he has not undergone any practical training in that country he has undergone such practical training as may be prescribed."
The court was informed that the doctor acquired the said qualification by offshore training at St. Johns Medical College in Bangalore.
"The only controversy required to be addressed is whether the additional qualification of MRCEM, as acquired by the doctor is recognised as an additional qualification for a practitioner to be registered in the concerned speciality in the United Kingdom," the court said.
The doctor submitted the requisite documents to the court to prove his case. The letter issued to the doctor by the General Medical Council (GMC), United Kingdom, stated that “MCEM/ MRCEM provides sufficient evidence of a doctor’s knowledge, skills and experience for the purposes of full registration (under Section 21B of the Medical Act 1983 (as amended))”.
However, notwithstanding the aforesaid clarification, the court observed that the doctor is not registered in the United Kingdom for the concerned speciality on the basis of the aforesaid qualification of MRCEM.
MCI contended that since the doctor had acquired the said qualification in a country other than the United Kingdom, the same would not be recognised in the United Kingdom.
MCI further highlighted that the medico is, in fact, registered as a medical practitioner in the United Kingdom and if the said qualifications were sufficient to be recognised as additional qualifications for the concerned speciality, the petitioner would have been granted such registration in the United Kingdom.
Taking note of the details of the case, Justice Vibhu Bakhru said;
"Since it is not disputed that the petitioner is not registered in the United Kingdom in respect of the additional qualification of MRCEM, this Court does not find any infirmity with the decision of MCI."
The court however clarified that if the petitioner submits sufficient proof to establish that the additional qualification of MRCEM acquired by him through training in India is sufficient to entitle him for being registered as a practitioner in the concerned speciality in the United Kingdom on the strength of the said qualification, MCI shall recognise the same.