Six months after the Maharashtra Medical Council (MMC) held elections to set up a new executive committee, the state government is yet to nominate five more members to the body. The Council, which is required to prescribe and maintain the standard of medical education and regulate the functioning of general practitioners, is now headed for a legal battle. The committee has been unable to hold meetings and its members have threatened to move court unless the state appoints the remaining members by the end of July. Dr Dilip Sarda, one of the elected members of the MMC and former president of the Indian Medical Association (Pune), told The Indian Express that the committee has 18 posts, of which nine are elected.
Two are ex-officio bearers and include the Director of Health Services and Director of Medical Education and Research, while two other members are elected from the Maharashtra University of Health Sciences, College of Physicians and Surgeons (CPS), and others. Five more members have to be nominated by the state government and these include noted doctors.
“In 2009, nine doctors from across Maharashtra were elected to the Council, but the body could not start functioning as the state had failed to nominate five representatives,” Dr Sarda told The Indian Express. “It is crucial for the government to give us good people, so that the MMC functions smoothly,” said Dr S S Utture, another elected member. Dr Abhay Chowdhary, who has been appointed the administrator, is managing the day-to-day affairs of the body. Dr Pravin Shingare, Director of Medical Education and Research, said the government was in the process of finalising five names to be nominated to the committee.
MMC issues new guidelines on renewing doctors’ registrations
One of the main roles of the MMC is to provide registration to MBBS doctors. On June 30, doctors were in for a rude shock when the MMC issued a notice stating that registrations of only those who have completed the bond service with the government would be renewed. According to the circular, doctors who have obtained their medical degrees from a corporation or government-run medical college have to sign a bond that entails government service for a year. Many complete the bond while others pay a fine to forfeit the bond.
According to Dr Shingare, while 2,900 such doctors graduate every year, only 550 complete the bond. The elected members of the MMC have protested against this decision. Utture said they have written to the government, urging it to not link the renewal of registration with the bond service.