It is reported today that the health ministry is planning to reshuffle the members of the present MCI Board of Governors (BOG) including removal of Dr. S.K. Sarin, the chairman of BOG (see news below). In the past, we have witnessed that whenever new members are seected to the MCI, they all bring their own agendas. This is particularly significant for complaints against errant doctors. The new members ignore everything done by their predecessors and start fresh investigation of the complaints against their medical colleagues – everybody has his/her own axe to grind and friends to shield. The hapless justice-seekers pay the ultimate price. Numerous victims of “medical negligence” have come to PBT whose complaints have been languishing in the MCI for months and years. What will happen to these complaints when new members take over the BOG?
When the present BOG headed by Dr. Sarin were plucked from nowhere by the health ministry almost one year ago under intense public pressure and put at the helm of the MCI following the arrest of then MCI president Ketan Desai, ordinary people of India hoped for real change to come in the MCI with a transparent and corruption-free healthcare delivery system. Unfortunately, apart from proposing some boisterous and impractical changes in medical education, the present BOG has done virtually nothing against corruption or widespread medical negligence. The members of the BOG have lost public trust for obvious reasons. They have put questionable characters in important positions in the MCI and instead of taking appropriate steps to punish the errant medicos, they have simply adjourned over and over again the complaints against fellow doctors bringing endless frustration and misery for the hapless victims and their families. In fact, the MCI today has become even less transparent than the one under Ketan Desai as the present MCI refuses even to disclose the “minutes” of the ethics and executive committee meetings – a candid ploy to suppress the facts. Even serious allegations of improper utilization of government funds have surfaced against some of the members of the BOG.
Ordinary citizens of India may have nothing to lose if the health ministry now remove the ineffectual members of the BOG. But what will happen to the complaints against delinquent medicos that have been pending in the MCI for a long, long time? Will the new leaders of the MCI start their own investigations afresh to save thier colleagues and friends? And most importantly, why should the public now trust the devious health ministry that had previously chosen one corrupt Ketan Desai and a bunch of inept BOG members to select doctors of the highest honesty and integrity to the MCI who would be able to restore public trust in our healers?