MCI could soon be scrapped; new body to nurse medical education in India

A NITI Aayog vice-chairman, Arvind Panagariya headed committee would submit its report on scrapping of the Medical Council of India (MCI) to the government next week in due to the poor regulation of medical education by the body.

A source said, “The committee on MCI has finalised its report after several rounds of deliberation on the issue with stakeholders and experts. It is likely to submit its report next week.”

The source said, a firmed up view has been formed by tha panel that MCI should be scrapped to increase the number of medical colleges in the country for producing more doctors in view of growing demand for healthcare services in the country.

P K Mishra, prime minister’s additional principal secretary and Amitabh Kant, CEO of Niti Aayog are also on board the committee to look into the issue of poor regulation of medical education by MCI.

A proposal to set up an altogether new body with a three pronged approach – career, enterprise and ethics, has been proposed by the three-member committee.

A parliamentary committee had called for revamping the MCI earlier this year, by saying that it has failed in its role as a regulator which has led to a downfall of medical education in India.

The committee even suggested that the government should exercise its constitutional authority and take decisive action to restructure and revamp the regulatory system of medical education and practice.

The report had said, “Due to massive failures of the MCI and lack of initiatives on the part of the government in unleashing reforms, there is total system failure due to which the medical education system is fast sliding downwards and the quality has been hugely sidelined in the context of increasing commercialisation of medical education and practice.”

Especially, in rural and poor urban areas, MCI has failed to create a curriculum that can produce doctors suited to Indian environment, said the panel.

The MCI has also failed to maintain uniform standards of undergraduate and postgraduate medical education.

The Committee said, “There is devaluation of merit in admission, particularly in private medical institutions due to prevalence of capitation fees, which make medical education available only to the rich and not necessarily to the most deserving.”

The panel said, MCI failed in setting up medical colleges in country as per need, resulting in geographical mal-distribution of medical colleges, with clustering in some states and absence in several others, acute shortage of medical teachers and abysmal doctor-population ratio.

The Council has also failed to oversee and guide the continuing medical education in India, leaving this important task at the hands of the commercial private industry.

The report said, it also failed to instill respect for a code of ethics in medical professionals and take disciplinary action against doctors found violating the code.