New Delhi, Apr 14: Charging that the Medical Council of India was "highly corrupt" and had lost credibility, a group of former bureaucrats and doctors have urged the Prime Minister to revamp the medical regulator, bring transparency and ensure that owners of hospital chains and colleges having "deep conflicts of interest" do not enter the body.
Five former secretaries of health and bio-technology departments as well former MCI members and prominent doctors have written to Prime Minister Naredra Modi seeeking his "personal involvement" in revamping the regulator and alleged that successive governments have shown their "inability" in handling "compromised" individuals in the body.
The secretaries and doctors have also urged the Prime Minister to take steps for revamping the curricula for graduate and post graduate medical education and separating the three functions of regulation, education and accreditation within the body.
"We request that implementation of the recommendations is taken up without delay, namely replacing the elected council with medical and non-medical persons to be selected by an expert body in a transparent manner, in order to ensure that hospital chains and owners of medical colleges, having deep conflicts of interest, do not enter this body and subvert it once again for their personal gain.
"Revamp the curricula for graduate and post-graduate education, separate the three functions of regulation, education and accreditation with eminent individuals known for their professional and personal integrity and the institution of a national entrance and exit examination so as to ensure better quality of the doctors being produced," the letter said.
Among those who have signed the letter are former health secretaries Javid Choudhury, Prasanna Hota, Sujatha Rao, Chandramouli and Keshav Desiraju and MK Bhan, former secretary of the Department of Biotechnology, and Gautam Sen and Sita Naik (former members of the Board of Governors of MCI), Srinath Reddy, President of the Public Health Foundation of India, and eminent surgeon Samiran Nundy of Gangaram Hospital.
A parliamentary panel had recently recommended restructuring MCI, stating that its current composition is "biased" against larger public health goals and is an "exclusive club" of medical doctors from corporate hospitals and private practice.
The Committee had said the elected MCI neither represents "professional excellence nor its ethos", and that more than half of the members are either from corporate hospitals or in private practice.