eMedinewS Editorial

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Can a Council debar one from practice on account of professional deficiency?

Dear Colleague

Both the State Councils as well as the MCI have been debarring doctors on account of ‘professional deficiency’. The legal provision is that the Council can only suspend a license on grounds of professional misconduct and professional deficiency does not come under the purview of the definition of professional misconduct.

Professional misconduct is a criminal offence and punishable under the act. Professional deficiency, on the other hand, is a civil deficiency which can only be compensated by money.

For professional deficiencies in practice, all doctors get their professional indemnity insurance done. No insurance company pays for criminal negligence or professional misconduct. They only pay for professional deficiencies.

The job of the Council can only be to define and quantify the professional deficiency and the case then has to be decided by the civil court in terms of the quantum of compensation and there the insurance company will invariably be a party.

What does MCI dissolved- really means?

Most of the doctors are feeling in the country that the MCI as an institution has been dissolved and that the MCI Act has become ineffective. MCI was never dissolved by the president of India.

MCI consists of an act, its defined functions, office, paid secretarial staff including secretaries (general, joint, deputy etc) and 150 elected members as representatives of the states, state councils or the government nominee.

The only thing which has happened is that by an ordinance, President of India has dissolved the 150 elected members to the council and replaced them with a team of six powerful, experienced, respectable eminent people from the same profession. They are free to appoint committees and sub committees to run the council efficiently.

The respect, integrity and credibility of the newly nominated members can not be doubted by anyone. The council functioning has not gone to any political leader or a non medical officer.

MCI was autonomous and will remain autonomous. It will still perform the same functions as it is suppose to do under the act. What will happen after one year can be a mater of debate and again the recommendations will have to come from the these six eminent medical people only.

Why the government had to change these 150 people is obvious from their actions. Every one including the government felt that rest 149 council members were either part of the corruption or were a silent witness and blind signing supporter to the policies of the council floated by the then president.

Dr KK Aggarwal
Padma Shri Awardee and Chief Editor

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