News Details

July 16

news & views | 03-Aug-2016

News & Views dated  July, 29  2016


Niti Aayog Recommends National Medical Commission to Replace MCI

           In order to herald major reform of the medical profession and medical education system in India, the government think tank, Niti Aayog, has recommended that a National Medical Commission should replace the Medical Council of India (MCI), putting an end to the highly controversial inspector raj. The new Commission will require the BJP led NDA to institute a new law, which has been attempted various times in the past to no avail. The main change would be the selection on the basis of merit of constituent members by a high powered panel, as opposed through elections as under the MCI. Led by Arvind Panagariya, Niti Aayog is finalising its recommendations on the reform of MCI and is expected to soon submit its report to the PMO. The commission would foreseeably have 20 members and will be advised by a parallel Medical Advisory Council, comprising of representation from all states and union territories. Four boards (undergraduate medical, PG medical, accreditation, and ratings) would exist in the commission with autonomy to decide curriculum, while other macro policies would be institute by the commission at large. A system of exit exams for both public and private medical colleges is being muted, in addition to simplifications of recruitment norms and punishment of non performing medical institutes.

Punjab Government  makes Swine Flu a notifiable disease:

Punjab Govt.  has notified that Swine Flu will be a notifiable disease for one year .  This will be in addition to the Tuberculosis and Dengue fever etc,. which are already notifiable diseases. All the suspect cases will have to be treated as per the guidelines of Govt. of India  and  it will be mandatory to inform the health authorities even about the suspect cases. As per the notification, all the hospitals whether in Govt. or private sector will ensure isolation of the cases and  without waiting for the laboratory results ,will treat the patients as per the given guidelines . The question remains of Tamiflu , will the Govt. provide the drugs to private practitioners or we will have to send every case to civil hospital.

Chemists attack doctors for prescribing generic drugs :

           What to say of the general public attacking the doctors alleging negligence , surprisingly , a mob of pharmacy owners attacked a group of junior doctors at a government hospital in Kalyani, West Bengal,  and that too for prescribing generic medicines instead of branded names.  It was mid night and some junior doctors  of  the College of Medicine and Jawaharlal Nehru Memorial Hospital (Kalyani, were sipping tea near the hospital gate when they were surrounded by a mob. The men abused the doctors for prescribing generic drugs, and after a heated exchange assaulted them. Hearing the commotion, some more doctors came to the rescue.. At this, one of the attackers took out a gun and held it to a doctor's head. Before leaving, they threatened the doctors with dire consequences. It is pertinent to mention here that the junior doctors were merely following a 2013 state government order making it mandatory for them to issue prescriptions with generic names instead of branded medicines.

PMO Directs Action Against Pharma Funded Doctors Traveling Abroad

30 odd doctors belonging to Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh undertook a foreign trip funded by pharmaceutical companies, ignoring MCI guidelines, and taking a sponsored trip to Italy, at an average cost of Rs. 2 lakh per doctor. The Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) has contacted the chief secretaries of both states asking for immediate action to be initiated against the traveling doctors. MCI has also reacted by issuing notices to these doctors, asking them for property, bank, and foreign travel details, facing possible cancelations of their registration if found guilty. Two doctors were also asked by the MCI unit in Chattisgarh to provide income tax return details, and documents relating to their Italy visit. While the notices had a deadline of one week for response and were issued five months ago, no response has been received.

MCI rules clearly prohibit public and private doctors from accepting tickets or money for any form of travel (e.g. railway, ship, or air), applying equally to their family members. Any favors from pharmaceutical firms or representatives are strictly prohibited. The PMO wants to send a strong signal to all doctors across the country with its actions in this case.

SC Allows Rape Survivor to terminate her 24-week-old Pregnancy

            The Supreme Court allowed a rape survivor to terminate her 24-week-old 'abnormal' foetus after doctors said it would endanger her life. The bench went by the report of seven members medical board of a Mumbai hospital saying the continuance of pregnancy would gravely endanger the physical and mental health of the mother. The board also said that the foetus has multiple severe abnormalities.. Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi said there is a provision in the Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act, 1971 which allows the termination of pregnancy after 24 weeks if there is a threat to the life of the mother. It may be mentioned here that the apex court is already hearing the plea of Mumbai-based doctor who had also raised the same issue in 2009 and sought an amendment to the Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act.

Compiled by

Dr. Ashwani K Juneja

Vice President cum Member News & Views Committee ,IMA Hoshiarpur

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