There is need to revisit the views on MCI

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Even one of the largest representative body for physicians, the WMA, is in opposition of the NMC Bill

New Delhi, 30 January 2018: Recently, the World Medical Association (WMA) came out in strong criticism of the Indian government’s plan to dismantle the professional self-governance of Indian physicians. The Association, in a letter to the Chairman of India’s Parliamentary Standing Committee on Health and Family Welfare, has warned that replacing the Medical Council of India (MCI) with the NMC Bill would lead to more Indian doctors leaving the country, affecting patient care.

The letter goes on to say that there is no evidence that the regulation of a profession is better done by the government. There have been various viewpoints on the decision to replace the MCI with the NMC Bill. However, what stands true is the fact that there have been no specific complaints of corruption of any type and magnitude on part of the MCI. The Council has also been denied the mandatory opportunity of hearing, which the principles of natural justice guarantee.

Speaking about this, Padma Shri Awardee Dr K K Aggarwal, President Heart Care Foundation of India (HCFI) and Immediate Past National President Indian Medical Association (IMA), said, “The WMA is an international and independent confederation of free professional medical associations, and represents physicians worldwide. The very fact that such a large Association is opposed to the idea of handing over the regulatory powers to the hands of the government and supports the MCI is enough to indicate what the actual scenario is. There has been no quantifiable evidence whatsoever of corruption within the MCI, pointing to the need to revisit the idea of replacing the body with a draconian act that will take away professional autonomy from doctors.”

Professional self-governance facilitates professional autonomy and clinical independence. A shift from a democratically elected, autonomously governed body to a politically established and government directed body would be counterproductive for patients and for furthering the development of the medical profession in India.

Adding further, Dr Aggarwal, who is also Vice President of the Confederation of Medical Associations in Asia and Oceania, said, “Even in the presence of a full-time administrator appointed by the Delhi High Court to supervise the MCI’s functioning for a year, there was not a single event pertaining to the functioning of the Council, which could be said to be contrary to the governing rules. Where then does the question of corruption arise? The MCI has been instrumental in bringing out regulations for the benefit of the medical fraternity and students, an example of which is the NEET. It is, therefore, blatant injustice to make it inconvenient and difficult for Indian physicians to survive and practice in their home country by introducing such acts.”

One of the main contentions for replacing the bill was to get a new corruption-free mechanism but the NMC has the potential to breed corruption. The proposed NMC is not representative of the medical profession in India. The MCI has one representative each from state and practicing doctors. With this being taken away, it remains to be seen how the ethics of practicing doctors providing care to 80% of the population can be managed without having representatives from their own tribe.

ECRI Institutes 2018 Top 10 Hospital C-suite Watch List (Part 3)

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Microneedle blood-collection devices

The touch-activated phlebotomy device is a new and nearly painless method of collecting blood sample for lab tests. The FDA-approved, single-use, 1.5-inch diameter device adheres to a patient’s skin. Once tapped, the device uses 30 microneedles and a small vacuum to collect 100 microliters of capillary blood over 2 to 3 minutes until the fill indicator signals the collection is complete. Currently, the device is approved only to test HbA1c to evaluate glycemic control.

Venipuncture, which is used to currently draw blood samples, is a painful and unpleasant procedure for many. At times, more than one puncture might need to be made if not properly done. This new method is painless, simple and fast. It also reduces needle stick injuries.

Neonatal MRI system

The Embrace neonatal MRI system is designed for point-of-care imaging of the neonatal brain and head in the neonatal intensive care unit. The system reduces potential risks associated with patient transport for a standard MRI such as trauma resulting from transport, positioning, handling and also facilitates rapid emergency care, should the need arise. However, it is contraindicated for infants weighing more than 4.5 kg or with a head circumference larger than 38 cm (15 inches) and those with metallic or electronically active implants.

The system is fully enclosed and does not require a safety zone or a radiofrequency-shielded room, so it can reside in close proximity to typical medical devices lacking “MR Safe” and “MR Conditional” designations. Unlike the current noisy MRI system, this new system is significantly less noisy.

GammaTile cesium-131 (Cs-131) brachytherapy in neuro-oncology

The use of GammaTile cesium-131 (Cs-131) brachytherapy in neuro-oncology is currently under review by the FDA. This technology permits per-operative incorporation of Cs-131 brachytherapy seeds, which are embedded into a bioabsorbable collagen mesh that is sutured or stapled into place in the cavity left by an excised brain tumor. The purported advantages are faster delivery of radiation dose to the target tissue and more direct delivery of radiation dose compared to external beam radiation therapy or other forms of brachytherapy using different radioisotopes. All these reduce injury to the adjoining healthy tissue with improved patient outcomes.


The concept of microhospitals is a growing trend in fast-growing suburban areas as a means to increase access to health care. Microhospitals provide inpatient services, but to a smaller scale than a full-service acute care hospital. But, they are scalable i.e. they can expand according to the needs. They provide emergency care, but not intensive care. There is no standard definition of a microhospital yet, hence, services may differ between microhospitals.

Dr KK Aggarwal

Padma Shri Awardee Vice President CMAAO Group Editor-in-chief IJCP Publications

President Heart Care Foundation of India

Immediate Past National President IMA