Medical Council of India (MCI) deputy secretary, Reena Nayyar, has informed that while PBT’s appeal for cancellation of Dr. Ketan Desai’s license was adjourned till April, the Ethics Committee has “reserved” judgment for punishment of the two senior Kolkata doctors (Sukumar Mukherjee and Baidyanath Halder) for the wrongful death of Anuradha Saha, whose death 13 years ago sparked establishment of PBT (click here to see the email from Dr. Nayyar MCI Ethics Committee (March 8,2011)
MCI Ethics Committee meets only once each month. During the Ethics Committee hearing more than three months ago, MCI decided to obtain “legal opinions” in both these cases (click here to see Ethics Committee Meeting of Dec. 8, 2010 ). Why this inordinate delay in justice only to obtain “legal opinions”? Why the MCI needs “legal opinion” anyway? MCI is a medical regulatory body and not a court of law. Its members are not attorneys or judges – they are all doctors and should take decisions based on their common knowledge and wisdom. Anybody can approach the court if they are unhappy with the decision taken by the MCI. So why the repeated adjourments in the Ethics Committee? Justice delayed is justice denied. The tenure of the present MCI lasts only until May 15, 2011. Is this why the doctor-only members of the Ethics Committee is just kicking the can so that they do not have to take the final decision against any of their medical colleagues?
In a different but related development, serious allegation of financial irregularities has surfaced against the MCI “Board of Governors”. According to a news report this month from the UNI, the chairman and some other members of the MCI “Board of Governors” have allegedly claimed enormous amount of personal expenses (as TA and DA) – to the tune of Rs. 30 lakh in the span of only seven months in MCI office. The information was allegedly obtained from the government by a citizen under the RTI Act (click for the report here UNI Report (Mar 7, 2011) . Is this what the ordinary people of India hoped for when the previous MCI was dissolved on charges of corruption (after the arrest of Ketan Desai) and a new “Boarad of Governors” were inducted as a stop gap measure to stem the rot in our healthcare?