As per its 2001 order against the then serving President of Medical Council Of India (MCI), the Delhi High Court has made an observation that the "MCI has become a den of corruption". The Court further stated in its observation that anyone would run into tears seeing how the MCI affairs are being run if they go through the records.
The strong-worded observation indicates how profoundly corruption runs through the council.
Parliamentary Standing Committee Report
Corruption was explored in MCI by a Parliamentary Standing Committee headed by Prof. Ram Gopal Yadav. The 126-page report by the Parliamentary Committee indicated that MCI is in the need of a complete reformation and the current state of affairs would lead to huge social, financial and political costs if left unchecked.
The Committee has proposed far-reaching recommendations, which, if implemented, would impact and transform the medical education and healthcare delivery in a humongous way.
Reasons for Constituting the Committee
The Parliamentary Standing Committee on Health and Family Welfare was formulated during the UPA-II regime to scrutinize the functioning of the MCI. The Committee was formulated in response to shreds of evidence of corruption against its officials.
A Committee comprising members from outside was set up after the arrest of the then MCI President Ketan Desai to ensure transparency.
Importance of the Report
Most of the recommendations made by the Committee are in alignment with those of Prof. Ranjit Roy Chaudhury expert committee which had expressed concern over the quality of medical education.
Suggesting changes to ensure quality, the Committee also recommended a Joint Entrance Examination with some system of accreditation.
Allegations against the MCI
The report made an observation that the MCI’s composition is prejudiced against larger public health goals and is a club of doctors from corporate hospitals and private practice. It further stated that the elected MCI lacked professional excellence.
Former secretaries of Health and Biotechnology Departments as well as former MCI members sought Prime Minister’s intervention stating that MCI had lost its credibility.
They urged the Prime Minister to refurbish the medical regulator and partition the functions of regulation, education and accreditation within the body.
The Committee further recommended steps for refurbishing the curriculum for graduate and postgraduate medical education.
Roles of the MCI
MCI has the following roles:
- Sets standards for recognition
- Licensing medical colleges
- Formulate Curriculum
- Maintaining Quality of Medical Education
However, there has been no innovation in the curriculum and the nation still follows outdated methods of teaching and learning.
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The report stated that on being questioned about the types of corruption prevailing in the MCI, the President gave evidence and admitted that corruption predominated for sanctioning of medical colleges or for increasing or decreasing seats.
The committee had also been informed about the instances where private medical colleges arranged ghost faculty and patients during MCI inspections and no action was taken for the irregularity.
The Committee was also told that the MCI fanatically takes actions on insubstantial grounds against the Government Colleges which are 100% better.
Inspections lead to Corruption
The Committee scrutinized that the system of inspections is flawed since there is no mechanism for constructive feedback. The report also highlights the licensing of colleges as one of the prominent reasons of corruption.
Need for an accreditation body
The Committee that robust accreditation serves as the foundation of quality management. The Committee recommends that an independent accreditation body must be established and should be entrusted with the task of ensuring the quality of medical education.
What do you think?
Should MCI be held accountable for the corruption and mishandling it has been doing?
Indian Medical Education needs a lot of sweeping changes if we are to produce quality doctors in this country !