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The rot in Indian healthcare regulatory system which was over-looked even by Mr. Aamir Khan during his recent TV episode of Satyamev Jayate is seemingly getting deeper as known Ketan Desai cronies are being recruited one after another by the present Adhoc Medical Council of India (MCI) “Board of Governors” (BOG) which is currently headed by Dr. K.K. Talwar, who promised to bring a complete overhaul of the corrupt medical system. Many of Desai’s close buddies who backed him and played central role during the past almost two-decade long reign of corruption at the MCI are being selected by Dr. Talwar and his BOG associates to important posts for reasons that would shock the conscience of most ordinary people. Most of these newly recruited doctors were also part of the MCI general body members that unanimously voted in favor to make Ketan Desai MCI president for the third time in 2009 (after he was removed by Delhi High Court in 2001 on charges of corruption) only to be caught red-handed by CBI on April 23, 2010 for taking bribes from a private medical college.
While the Adhoc BOG was selected by the health ministry under huge public pressure following Desai’s arrest in 2010, it is mind-boggling to imagine that the BOG would recruit doctors who are known Desai cronies and who perhaps helped him to run the ring of corruption in MCI. These members with dubious character include Dr. Bhanu Dubey and Dr. R.V. Azad (nominated by BOG in the important post-graduate committee), Dr. R.C. Siwach and Dr. Mukesh Sharma (nominated by BOG in the under-graduate committee) and Dr. Sneh Bhargav, who also voted to nominate Dr. Desai as MCI president in 2009 and who has now been posted as the chairman of the all important Ethics Committee. Another well-known Desai crony, Dr. Ved Prakash Mishra, was nominated as an MCI member in 2010 by the Health Ministry even after he was found guilty for corruption by CBI in 2007. This latest revelation was made by an in-depth analysis by CNN-IBN (see below).
The criminal trial for Ketan Desai has not started yet but we are already seeing evidence of the same old game of corruption and cronyism working full-speed in Indian healthcare. Dr. Desai has already been elected “unopposed” as a member of Gujarat University Senate even while waiting for his criminal trial. Not a single doctor in the state of Gujarat came forward even to challenge him for the sole post as a medical member in the University Senate. While the previous BOG (headed by Dr. S.K. Sarin) opted to cancel Dr. Desai’s medical registration in 2010 for his heinous role in response to a complaint filed by PBT president Dr. Kunal Saha, the Gujarat Medical Council (GMC) has refused to cancel Desai’s registration and the present BOG has not taken any step to compel GMC comply with their direction despite repeated appeals by PBT. Are the health ministry and BOG working with Desai’s cronies to pave a way for his return to MCI through the backdoor?