The Medical Council of India (MCI) on Tuesday has come under heavy fire from a Parliamentary panel, which accuses the MCI of being a corrupt and inefficient body, which failed to improve the standards of medical education in India.
From sliding standards at under-graduate and post-graduate level to succumbing to the pressure from pharmaceutical industries, the healthcare regulator failed to satisfy the lawmakers, who asked the Union health ministry to stem the rot and reform the council.
“The committee is shocked to find that compromised individuals have been able to make it to the MCI, but the ministry is not empowered to remove or sanction a member of the council even if he has been proved corrupt. Such state of affairs are also symptomatic of the rot within and point to a deep systemic malice,” the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Health said in its report on the functioning of the MCI.
A previous attempt by the UPA government to clean up the lucrative medical education sector by replacing the MCI with another autonomous body did not work. On the recent MCI decision to exempt professional association of doctors from accepting gifts and foreign tours from pharmaceutical companies, the House panel said the move was nothing short of legitimising doctors’ associations indulging in unethical and corrupt practices.