March 12, 2010

Govt envisages periodic renewal of doctors’ registration

Currently, doctors are supposed to register with their state medical councils concerned only once, after getting their degrees. Following this, the state medical councils forward the list to the Medical Council of India (MCI) which incorporates them into the Indian Medical Register (IMR).

Sources in the health ministry said the India Medical Council Act, 1956, is being envisaged to be amended to earmark the funds to the MCI to update the IMR in a continuous and periodic manner.

The proposal made by the MCI in this regard has been pending with the government since 1999, the council’s president Ketan Desai told PTI.

Apart from re-registration, the MCI also wants re-evaluation of doctors after every five years.

“Doctors should attend 30 hours of continuing medical education every year. This would amount to 150 hours every five years,” Dr. Desai said, adding that it would help them update themselves with the latest technology and knowledge in their respective medical fields.

Listing the problems in the current system of registration, he said, medical practitioners do not delete their names from the IMR if they leave their country or stop practising.

“Out of the total 7,70,000 doctors listed in the register since 1933, many are either dead or have left the country, but they are still listed, creating confusion about the number of medical practitioners we have,” Dr. Desai said.

There is also a problem with the same person being registered from two different states, he added.

The National Human Rights Commission had recently voiced concern over the doctors with bogus degrees and registration certificates, providing health care facilities in the country.

MCI has detected 200 doctors with false medical degrees or intermediate marks memos in the last four years. It has filed FIRs against them for submitting fake degree certificates.

To register with the MCI, doctors have to submit their certificates for verification.

Though the council gives provisional registration, it sends the certificates for verification to the authorities concerned. In many cases, the fake medical degrees have been secured from Russia and other East European countries.

Verification of these certificates was carried out with the help of Indian embassies in those countries. In some of these cases, the medical degree is genuine, but the intermediate marks memo is fake.

Foreign medical degree holders are required to take a qualification test conducted by the MCI.

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