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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.

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