Under PBT’s relentless pressure to bring transparency in handling of cases against delinquent doctors, WBMC has eventually posted a list of the status of pending complaints against doctors on their website at WWW.WBMC.IN. The list bears more glaring testimony of the pitiful status inside the medical council in dealing with allegations against doctors. According to the list posted under the heading, “Penal cases under consideration as on 31st May, 2014”, a total of 376 cases are still pending before the Penal & Ethical (PE) Committee for final decision. Following are some of the most glaringly aspects emerging from this list:
1) 12-year old complaints still languishing for final decision: Many cases against doctors that are 10-12 years old are still pending for final verdict, sometime even after issuance of charge-sheet. For example, a case against Dr. Sajal Sarkar (case no. 62-C/2002, Item no. 1) is still waiting for “hearing by the Council” even though Dr. Sarkar was charge-sheeted in this matter suggesting prima facie negligence. Other cases are also pending since 2003, 2004 etc. The Section 8.4 of MCI “Code of Ethics Regulations” has mandated that complaints against doctors must be decided “within a time-limit of 6 months”.
2) Charge-sheet not delivered for months: A case of 2010 where “charge-sheet to be issued” against the accused doctor has been delayed for months even to issue the charge-sheer – obviously enabling the charged doctor to roan scot-free (Serial no. 68)
3) Complaints are selectively chosen as target: While older cases (e.g. filed in 2013) are shown as “Yet to be marked to PE Committee”, cases filed later in 2014 have been “Under consideration of PE Committee” clearly suggesting that the WBMC is targeting some doctors, perhaps due to their political affiliation.
4) Complaints against doctors are not increasing: the list also establishes that it is a myth, as frequently claimed by the IMA leaders, that more people are filing complaints against doctors. As shown in the list, it appears that while only about 46 complaints have been pending in 2014, the number of pending complaints in 2013 was about 157, 154 in 2012, 156 in 2011 and so on. Therefore, there is no reason to imagine that people have become more vindictive and filing more complaints against doctors.
One important aspect of this list that has emerged is the names of all doctors in West Bengal who have been charged with “medical negligence”. The complete list as it is shown at WBMC website is attached below.