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Saturday, March 27, 2010

Union Health Minister says steps are being taken to improve standard of medical education

Delhi , December 11,2009 16:46 IST
Lok Sabha

To improve the quality of medical education, focus has been given to upgrading the skills of medical teachers, increase in post graduate courses/seats, revision of curriculum, introduction of new medical courses and revision of the norms of infrastructure etc. While these amendments have taken effect, the actual implementation is expected to commence from the next academic session. Some of the important amendments made in the MCI Regulations are as under:-

i) The ratio of post graduate medical teacher to the student has been relaxed from 1:1 to 1:2.

ii) Research publications in indexed/National Journals have been made compulsory for promotion to the post of Professor/Associate Professor.

iii) Permitted colleges which are not yet fully recognized are allowed to offer postgraduate courses in the subjects of preclinical and paraclincial Departments of Anatomy, Physiology, Biochemistry, Pharmacology, Microbiology, forensic Medicine & Community Medicine without waiting for full recognition.

iv) The teaching experience required for the post of Professor/Associate Professor has been reduced by one year in the respective feeder cadres.

v) Emergency Medicine has been incorporated in the medical curriculum so that the medical students are trained to tackle medical emergencies.

vi) Basic management skills in the area of human resources, materials and resource management related to health care delivery, General and hospital management, principal inventory skills and counseling have been included in the curriculum.

vii) A village attachment of atleast one week to understand issues of community health alongwith exposure to village health centres, ASHA, Sub Centres have also been included in the curriculum.

viii) The requirement of infrastructure like institution block, library, auditorium, examination hall, lecture theatres, etc. has been rationalized for optimal use, and

ix) Laboratories in different departments have been pooled to have common laboratories which can be used by all the departments for better utilization of the equipment and space and to reduce capital expenditure,

2. In addition, to facilitate expansion of medical education to the unserved and underserved areas of the country, amendments have been made in the Medical Council of India (MCI) Regulations, some of which are as follows:-

(a) For opening of new medical colleges, land requirements have been rationalized across the country and they have been further liberalized in the case of notified tribal areas, underserved/unserved areas and hill areas. In respect of these areas, land need not be unitary piece but can be in two pieces of land,

(b) In respect of North-East and Hill States, the requirement of bed strength in the teaching hospital has been liberalized, and

(c) Staff and infrastructural requirements have also been rationalized etc.

3. The President of India in her address to the Joint Session of Parliament on 4th June, 2009, announced the Government’s intention to set up a National Council of Human Resources in Health (NCHRH) as an overarching regulatory body for health sector to reform the current framework and enhance supply of skilled personnel. Consequently, a Task Force under the Chairmanship of Union Secretary (Health & Family Welfare) was constituted to deliberate upon the issue of setting up of the proposed National Council. The Task Force submitted its report on 31st July, 2009. The report alongwith the draft bill for creation of NCHRH has been sent to the State Governments seeking their views and posted on the Ministry’s website for inviting comments from the general public. It is envisaged that the proposed National Council, when constituted, will deal with various needs of medical education in the country.

This information was given by Shri Ghulam Nabi Azad Minister Union Minister for Health & Family Welfare in a written reply to a question in the Lok Sabha today.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Rural Health Regulatory Authority Bill 2009

The West Bengal government on Dec 2009 passed the controversial Rural Health Regulatory Authority Bill 2009 in the state assembly by majority vote.
In doing so, the state government created a precedence in the sense that it over-ruled thereby the collective decision that was taken by the Left Front to send the bill to the assembly select committee in view of the differences that existed over various tenets of the bill among the Opposition.
The government’s move resulted in an immediate walkout by the Trinamool Congress and Congress. The Bill introduces a 3-year diploma course on medical science and the apparent objective is to deploy these diploma holders in various parts of rural Bengal to meet the acute shortage there in terms of qualified medical practitioners.

The government’s move, good or bad, will undoubtedly lead to tremendous opposition from the leading Opposition parties as well as Left Front allies at this juncture when the state is going through one election after another and practically losing them all.

In early 1980s, the then CPIM state secretary Promode Dasgupta had mooted the idea of creating "barefoot doctors" to deploy them in rural Bengal, but had to relent to the huge opposition from the medical fraternity, including the Indian Medical Association (IMA).
At the same time, it is not unknown either that during the raj days, a category of medical practitioners was created who were known as Licentiate Medical Practitioners. Sometimes jokingly referred to as "half-doctors", these practitioners did not go through the rigours of the Bachelor of Medicine (MB) course, but could practice privately under certain conditions.
The system was abolished in 1946. "I don’t understand why Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee is trying to follow the Promode Dasgupta formula which was rejected by the medical fraternity as well," said Partha Chatterjee, the opposition leader in the state Assembly. Congress leader Manas Bhunia, who is himself an MBBS doctor resented the fact that two categories of medical practioners were being created, the fully-qualified for the cities and the half-qualified for rural Bengal.
"The sole intention of the government behind framing the bill is to tide over the manpower crisis in the rural health care system. MBBS doctors often refuse to go to the villages and stay there. We want to send these diploma-holder to villages to treat people there," state health minister Surjya Kanta Mishra argued. Mishra told newsmen he was unaware of the Front’s earlier decision, although he is a central committee member of the CPIM. Left partners were aghast.
Ashok Ghosh of the Forward Bloc, CPI’s Manju Majumdar and RSP’s Manoj Bhattacharjee all said they couldn’t figure out how this faux pas had happened. All of them were hugely surprised at the passing of the bill and said they would talk to the Left Front chairman Biman Bose. The CPIM’s state secretariat will take up the issue at a meeting on Thursday.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

IMA doctors against Clinical Establishment Bill

Members of the Indian Medical Association (IMA) today voiced their opposition to the proposed Clinical Establishment Bill at the General House meeting held at IMA House in Ludhiana on Sunday. The Bill has been approved by the Union Cabinet and is to be presented in the Parliament for debate and approval. After detailed deliberations, the members rejected the Bill outright as it “violated the dignity of the profession”. IMA president Dr Narotam Diwan said: “The National Council, which is proposed to be the governing body, will be composed of quasi-literate persons drawn from Unani, Siddha, Nursing and Paramedical sections of the profession. Of the total 18 members of the National Council, only two will be medical graduates. If passed, this Bill will open the doors for every unqualified person to get registered in the guise of Yoga, Unani, Siddha, Nursing and Pharmacy branches.”

Monday, March 15, 2010

It’s official, Dr Cancer - Vaidya Ramesh Laxman Dhokte - is declared a quack

We have already covered this news at
Based on Indian Express From

Dr.Dhokte has mailed us asking to remove the pages
His Mail

This is in regard following webpage on your website.
This is wrong informtation and I herewith ask to remove this html webpage from your website.
Let me know if any issues in removal or you expect any help form my side and how soon you could do the necessary.

Our Reply

Dear Sir,

The information is based on
From INDIAN EXPRESS, which is a reputed News Paper
Please inform us as to what part of the news is wrong

His Next Mail

we are talking to newpaper sources on further findings on sources of  this information.
The data findings and allegations are baseless.
Its upto you if you want to remove this html page or not. but this is a heads-up on legal consequences that may incur and since your website is under your proprietorship unlike newpapers, can have implications for reputation damage on internet.
Hence, this is my friendly request to remove the contents and let me know if you expect any assistance to do so.
please confirm your take on this, either way.
Ramesh Dhokte

His third Mail

your profile and website is impressive. thanks for sharing.
your intentions of may be right, but just feeding some news that appears to be somewhat relevant( to what that website intents to present), isn't in your interest for your propsperous career and reputation as a doctor,  unless you have solid proofs for the facts behind it before flooding such news around.
You would need to be investigator or a lawyer yourself to do so (my friendly advice).
you seem to have been lacking any news data that can be posted on your website to generate traffic.
News paper represents version of truth that they are presented and thus have many loopholes in the law can easily bend the facts for the taste of audience but yours is proprietory website and thus my advice is
Remove the contents or any link for that matter from your website related to these allegations for/on Vaidya Ramesh Dhokte.
Feel free to email only if you have taken the corrective action i.e. no contents, meaning neither in the format of a copy-paste from a news-paper article nor a link to the news itself.

Mumbai, June 9, 2004 : Council scraps registration of Dombivli Ayurveda practitioner for duping cancer patients.

Ramesh Laxman Dhokte (65) of Dombivli, who has been duping cancer patients with the promise of a cure for more than 25 years, has lost his licence to practise medicine. The Maharashtra Council of Indian Medicine (MCIM) has permenantly withdrawn Dhokte’s licence to practise medicine.

Dhokte holds a diploma in Ayurveda. He had the requisite recognition to practice in Maharashtra

It was his unverified and dubious claim of curing cancer that was challenged by the MCIM in 1994.
The case against him gained momentum after Dhokte was booked for violating the Medical Practioners Act, 1961, and for duping cancer patients by the Economic Offences Wing of the Thane police on December 5, 2004.

Over the past quarter century, Dhokte sold his ‘‘miracle cure’’ to lakhs of unsuspecting cancer patients with the promise that his concoction would cure them of the dreaded disease.

By doing so, he raked it in. But Dhokte failed to get his medicine authenticated by an authorised research institution, despite reminders from the MCIM.

Dhokte claimed that he had stumbled upon a herb called ranvila in the forests of Mahableshwar.

According to him, the tribals had actually treated cancer with the herb.

Dhokte then proclaimed that the extract which he had prepared from the herb could cure all kinds of cancer.

Pune-based Botanical Survey of India had denied the very existence of the ranvila plant while replying to a query by one Dr Vilas Tannu in 1994.

The Thane police report on which the MCIM based its decision, revealed that Dhokte himself did not manufacture any medicine.

He bulk-purchased health tonics (like Radona from Solumix Herboceuticals) of well-known brands. After re-packaging, his ‘‘miracle cancer cure’’ was ready.

The police also found that Dhokte did not have a licence to sell medicine. Even the licence number on the label of his cancer cure product was fake.

Attempts to contact Dhokte failed. The staff at the dispensary told Newsline that he was away and ‘‘would be available’’ next week.

The Quack Effect

Dhokte, a diploma holder in Ayurveda from Dombivli, has been peddling his miracle cure since 1982. He has written numerous books, scripted a TV serial and a film on his miraculous cancer cure. Dhokte operated from a clinic at Dombivli (East) and charged Rs 2,000 for medicine and Rs 500 for consulting. His daily earnings amounted to Rs 40,000-Rs 50,000 on an average.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

CET for medical PG: Decide in a month HC tells govt

AHMEDABAD: The Gujarat High Court has given a month's time to the state government to take a decision in the matter concerning holding a common entrance test (CET) for state quota in all institutions offering postgraduate medical degree courses from the next academic year.

Acting on second public interest litigation (PIL) filed by Parents Association for Medical, Dental and Paramedical, a division bench comprising Justice MS Shah and Justice AS Dave has asked the state government to act fast. The bench asked the government to decide in one month if it would hold a CET for admission to all state colleges' PG medical courses.

In addition, this time the high court has, in specific words, warned the government that it would face contempt proceedings in the case if it fails to reach a conclusion this time.

"State government will take final decision in the matter within one month, failing which, it will expose itself to
all the consequences for disobedience of the order of this court," the division bench wrote, after mentioning its five-month-old order, in which the court had given three-month period to the government to take decision on the same issue.

Last year, the state government made a resolution that admission to PG courses would be regulated by a common entrance test and there would be a single window system. However, the government and the universities did not implement this system, and a parents' association filed a PIL demanding that such institutes should not hold separate entrance test. In reply to this PIL, the state government in June this year told the court that a report of a committee headed by Kanubhai Kalsaria in this regard was under consideration of the government.

The court had then asked the government to take decision on whether CET should be held within three months or not.

But when the government could not come to any conclusion, the parents association filed another PIL reiterating their earlier demands.

TNN, Dec 13, 2009, 03.13am IST

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Centre's decision for quota in medical PG not binding on states, says SC

NEW DELHI: In a ruling having a major ramification for medical education, the Supreme Court on Wednesday held that the Centre's decision to provide quota for SCs and STs in post-graduate medical courses did not automatically bind the state governments to follow suit and implement it in their medical colleges.

It took note of the fact that the Centre has provided for reservation to SC and ST candidates in the All India Entrance Examination for MD/MS/PG Diploma and MDS courses and also in the All-India quota PG seats, but firmly handed down the ruling that "the same cannot automatically be applied in other sections where state governments have power to regulate."

Moreover, the Bench comprising Chief Justice K G Balakrishnan and Justices P Sathasivam and J M Panchal appeared disinclined to grant a direction to the states to follow the example set by the central government. It upheld the Haryana government's decision not to provide quota for SC/ST in PG medical courses.

"In our view, every state can take its own decision with regard to reservation depending on various factors," said Justice Sathasivam writing the judgment for the Bench.

It said: "Article 15(4) is an enabling provision and the state government is the best judge to grant reservation for SC/ST/Backward Class categories at PG level in admissions and the decision of the state of Haryana not to make any provision for reservation at the PG level suffers no infirmity."

It accepted the Bhupinder Hooda government's explanation that reservation in under-graduate medical courses is being provided strictly as per their policy but the PG level education in medical education was governed by the Medical Council of India (MCI).
It noted that "even the MCI has not followed strict adherence to the rule of reservation in admisions for SC/ST category at the post-graduate level."

"In such circumstances, the court cannot issue mandamus (to the state) against their decision and their prospectus also cannot be faulted for not providing reservation in PG courses," the Bench said dismissing appeals filed by one DR Gulshan Prakash faulting the Haryana government's decision not to provide reservation in PG-level medical courses in Maharshi Dayanand University.

Saturday, March 06, 2010

Cabinet clears bill to check medical malpractices

In a move that may help in improving medical services, checking malpractices and sub-standard services to patients, the government has decided make registration of all private, public medical facilities and diagnostic laboratories operating in the country compulsory.

The cabinet on Thursday cleared the Clinical Establishment (Registration and Regulation) Bill that aims at bringing all clinical establishments under a single regulatory framework.

The bill is expected to be tabled in the budget session of parliament. It envisages registering and regulating all hospitals, clinics, nursing homes and labs run by government, trusts (public or private), corporations (including a cooperative society), local authorities or a single doctor.

This means, all clinical establishments would now have to maintain a certain minimum quality standard set down by the National Council for Standards. They would be subject to government scrutiny and rated for their quality, facilities and services. Establishments providing unsatisfactory healthcare can lose licence to operate.

Conditions of registration include having minimum standard of facilities, minimum qualification of health personnel and providing evidence of compliance of the prescribed standards. These establishments will also be open for inspection by authorities. Penalty for non-registration will be an offence punishable with fine up to Rs5 lakh.

A clinical establishment will include hospitals, maternity homes, nursing homes, dispensaries, clinics, etc, and similar facilities with beds that offer diagnosis, treatment or care for illness, injury or pregnancy in any recognised system of medicine (allopathy, yoga, naturopathy, ayurveda, homeopathy, siddha and unani).
It also includes any laboratory (either established as independent entity or part of an establishment), which offers pathological, bacteriological, genetic, radiological, chemical, biological and other diagnostic or investigative services.

With the proposed law, the government expects to crack down on private diagnostic laboratories, especially those engaged in illegal sex determination tests and fraudulent medical practices.

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Medical council move draws mixed response

PUNE: The Union health ministry's decision to form a single council for medical education in the country has drawn a mixed response from the medical fraternity. Some felt that the Medical Council of India (MCI) was doing a fair job, while others said the Union ministry's decision should not be politically motivated.

Welcoming the decision, B J medical college dean Arun Jamkar said, "It will help in running medical education uniformly as all branches will be controlled by one body. The problem at present is that there's tremendous crunch for support staff. I believe that with a single council being formed, equal attention will be given to various courses".

"But I also feel that there should be absolutely no politics involved in the decision. Besides, the MCI should be given some role to play in the council. I do not agree scrapping of the MCI totally," he added.

Bharati Vidyapeeth medical college principal V A Saoji said, "It is premature to judge the decision. However, the council will have limited members and if these members are supposed to take decisions regarding all branches of medical education, then it is not fair as they will not have expertise in all fields. Moreover, there's no need to scrap the MCI as it is doing a reasonable job." Saoji, too, felt that the proposed council should not have a political hand in it. "If that happens, then I don't think things will get any better. Some sections in society are not happy with the functioning of the MCI, but there is no guarantee that the new council will be better."

According to the principal of D Y Patil Pratishthan's medical college, Pimpri, Amarjeet Singh, "It is an unimaginable task for one council to govern six to seven medical branches across the country. Take the example of the dental regulatory body, which is unable to control just the dental education. I fail to understand why a single council is being formed in such a scenario."

Maharashtra institute of medical education and research principal Shubhada Javadekar said, "At present, there is monopoly of the MCI anyway. It's partial to certain colleges and does not impose rules and regulations uniformly. I only feel that the new entity should not favour a particular state or college and should be transparent in its working."

A task force of the Union health ministry has decided to scrap all regulatory bodies, including the MCI, Dental Council of India, Pharmacy Council and the Nursing Council. There will instead be a single regulatory body the National Council for Human Resources in Health which will oversee the seven departments related to medicine. The move now awaits a formal government notification.