Indian medicos across the world have welcomed the Indian government’s move to set up a six-member panel for taking charge of the Medical Council of India (MCI).
However, many groups of doctors wish to keep a watchful eye on the panel, to prevent it from going the same way as the Ketan Desai-led MCI. Besides, medicos are quite keen that doctors who formerly had connections with Desai not be appointed to this panel.
The new panel has six members on board, including Dr. Shivkumar Sirin, Prof Ranjeet Ray Chaudhari and Prof RN Sullen from New Delhi, Dr. Sita Naik from Gurgaon, Dr. Devi Prasad Shetty from Bangalore and Prof Gautam Sen from Mumbai.
Dr Pankaj Singhal, one of five members behind the Remedy MCI campaign, which is reportedly one of the main groups demanding the dissolution of MCI’s previous board and sternly demanding a new panel, said, “The Remedy MCI campaign strongly welcomes the Centre’s move to appoint this panel, and most importantly, we hail the appointment of five members in whose integrity we all have confidence. However, the appointment of RN Salhen in the new board is questionable, due to his previous connections with Dr Desai. We plan to keep monitoring the new panel’s work.”
The president of an eminent medical body in the US, People for Better Treatment (PBT), Dr Kunal Saha, had filed a complaint with the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) on May 15, demanding that Prof PN Tondon, who was formerly associated with Ketan Desai, not be appointed to the panel. Dr Saha has also voiced his opinion on the formation of this new committee. “We appreciate the Centre’s decision to not include Prof Tondon in the new panel.
However, PBT is to keep a tight vigil over the new six-doctor panel and their work. We also mull legal steps against the Centre for not having an adequate number of “non-doctor” members on board for Indian medical regulatory bodies, the way it is done in the US and UK,” he said. PBT has also filed a formal complaint with the Gujarat Medical Council (GMC) to cancel Dr. Ketan Desai’s medical licence and to remove Dr Nitin Vora, the present GMC vice-president. “Vora is known as a crony of Dr. Desai’s”, said Dr Saha.
With this, the demand for the removal of Dr Desai’s name from the Indian Medical Register has also gained global support, and a complaint in this regard was again submitted to the PMO on May 15.