Harsh Vardhan says MCI has been a source of corruption, needs clean-up

He conceded that shortage of doctors is a big roadblock and that is the principal thing affecting availability of doctors in primary health centres.

Written by Abantika Ghosh | New Delhi | Published:June 7, 2014 4:58 am
Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan in New Delhi on Thursday. (Source: Express photo by Amit Mehra) Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan. (Source: Express photo by Amit Mehra)

Union Health minister Dr Harsh Vardhan Friday said the Medical Council of India (MCI) has been a “big source of corruption” so much so that it has weakened the very edifice of medical education in the country. A clean-up in the medical education regulator, he said, is on the cards.

“For a long time, the MCI has been a big source of corruption…instead of strengthening the component of medical education it has weakened it. I will go into the depth of it. I am not in favour of encroaching on its autonomy but the ministry should monitor and not allow them to be so corrupt.

MCI is a big Pandora’s box, I do not get stuck there right at the beginning. Let me stabilise the other things in a couple of weeks and I will get to the bottom of it,” the minister said.

Making a strong case for the common medical entrance test at undergraduate and postgraduate levels — National Eligibility cum Entrance test (NEET) is now caught in a legal tangle — he said reining in private medical colleges who charge a bomb for a medical degree is the need of the hour.

He said he would evolve stakeholder consensus for compulsory rural posting for doctors and wants integration of AYUSH doctors in the healthcare delivery mechanism to solve the problem of manpower shortage.

But he added he is not in favour of anything less than a full-fledged MBBS degree, signalling that the plan to have rural healthcare professionals with a three year degree as mooted by the UPA government now stands buried for good.

He conceded that shortage of doctors is a big roadblock and that is the principal thing affecting availability of doctors in primary health centres.

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  1. A
    Jun 9, 2014 at 3:14 pm
    Medical ent.exam is a must ,a single national exam from where pvt. medical colleges should also enroll candidates . A student not having come through entrance exam should be made to write a final exam after MBBS before going for house surgency and registration.This way inferior doctors will not qualify.Also for Govt,Pvt and Deemed Universities a common question paper with centralised valuation is a must.
  2. B
    Bijoy Antony
    Jun 14, 2014 at 5:38 pm
    Union Health minister Dr Harsh Vardhan seems to be a good non corrupt person who has good understanding of the current situation.He himself told about the corruption in MCI. I am working as professor of nephrology at academy of medical sciences, pariyaram, kannur, kerala. Names of faculty shown at the time of MCI inspection are false. They bring doctors to be shown as teachers on that day alone. Since there is severe shortage of staff, the students wont get adequate training. Actually they are doing a great injustice to the next generation. These private collges take students based on money as the only criteria and they p exam by some means.Let us hope our new minister will put an end to this corruption and save the country.
  3. D
    Dr. Naresh
    Jun 8, 2014 at 7:10 am
    Mr. Minister, sir, Ayush education regulatory body CCIM is equally sick. Please treat it too. Ayush means BAMS/BUMS doctors can be utilised to fill the shortage of doctors at PHC level with little effort with no extra public spending. You are welcome to take initiative. Sir, BAMS/BUMS education at state level needs standardisation and for that one ayush education dept.
  4. K
    Kishor Mogulluru
    Jun 8, 2014 at 9:01 am
    Repost previous Secretary health Shri Keshav desi raju sir ........then only Health department will be in smoother hands and transparent
  5. R
    Rakesh Mittal
    Aug 31, 2014 at 8:47 am
    People for betterment ofForeign Medical Graduates President:R K Agrawal, 231, Lalbaug, Morbi-2 Gujarat Dt.30.08.2014To,Health minister,Govt of India,New DelhiSub:- Providing level playing field toforeign medical graduates.Ref:- 1. PBFMG letter dated 30.06.2014 led“ Plight of foreign medical graduates & ways to improvesupply of competent doctors while eliminating all types of incompetent doctors.2. PBFMG letter dated 30.06.2014 led ‘Plight of foreign medical graduates’3. PBFMG letter dated 10.07.2014 led ‘ Nationalexit exam for medical graduates.R sir,We on behalf of PBFMG hearty congratulate you &the committee formed by your good self for having come up with the brilliantproposal of exit exam which ensures uniform standards in medical education bymaking it mandatory for permanent registration & at the same time notaffecting supply by innovative provision of temporary registration.We also congratulate you & the committee toincorporate mandatory provisions to appear & p the test for permanentregistration, thereby overturning the malafide intention of MCI, giving option to local graduates to by pthe exam, to avoid scrutiny of doctors produced by medical mafia controlledprivate colleges under MCI’s own corrupt system. Hope, its their last try toavoid scrutiny of doctors produced by these dubious colleges. Let the peopleknow if their competency level before allowing them to play with their life.Scores of private medical colleges openly auctiontheir seats in crores & p them from their own private universities bytaking crores again. Concerns regarding standards of education in such collegesare systematically overlooked by MCI, deciding their recognition & derecognitionbased on the weight of suitcase such colleges carry for likes of ketan desai inMCI.Foreign medical graduates, on the other hand, arethe committed souls to this profession, having earned their admission inadverse terrains, without paying a single paisa by way of black money &donations to MCI or the medical mafia. Their admissions were till recentlydirectly monitored by MCI by way of eligibility certificate. The process was much cleaner than the way private collegemafia takes admission in their colleges by open auction of seats through daily adver in local newspapers.Still private college mafia in convenience withlikes of ketan desai in MCI, having received no black money or donation fromforeign students, has long been bing foreign graduates as incompetent bysubjecting them to highly discriminatory level of screening test designedpurposely to fail students to incite fear psychosis of not to go abroad &rather fall pray to private college seats, filled at huge donations. It isrequested to direct MCI to desist itself from bing of foreign graduates asincompetent till relative level of competence is established by uniformapplication of exit exam to foreign graduates vis-a-viz medical mafiacontrolled private college graduates.MCI in its history sinceindependence didn’t find a single doctor fit for major penalty. It was foreignexperienced doctor, who lost her wife while travelling to india, who compelledMCI to take few such steps in recent time through various litigations in whichMCI was seen taking side of negligent doctors but MCI was forced to swallow herwords, & thereby tought some lessions in competency to MCI itself.It is therefore requested to give level playingfield to foreign medical graduates by applying all the provisions of exit examincluding the provisions of temporary registration uniformly in , in letter& in sprit to allow fair comparison of foreign medical graduates vis-a-vismedical mafia controlled private college graduates & let the country knowthe actual competency level of both.Uniform application of exit exam to all, even if heis a foreigner, is the established norm world over. USA ,Canada, austrailia,newzealand or even the least developed Nepal follow this prinl. In our case,these foreign graduates are not even foreigners. They are the very sons of mother india.If at all india chooses to play in the hands ofmedia mafia & likes of ketan desai in MCI once again & apply differentyard stick for local & foreign graduates, which I am sure it will not, thenindia will have the dubious distinction of being the only country in the w world, doing so.This will send wrong signalsthe world over that medical mafia &likes of ketan desai in MCI still prevails in the country irrespective ofpolitical party in power.I sincerely hope BJP will not let it happen.Thanking you,yours faithfully,(Rk agrawal)Copy to Respected Prime Minister of PMO IndiaCopy to medical council of india
  6. R
    Rakesh Mittal
    Jun 8, 2014 at 3:14 am
    People for betterment ofForeign Medical Graduates President:R K Agrawal, 231, Lalbaug, Morbi-2 GujaratTo,The health minister,Ministery of Health & Family Welfare,Govt of india,New DelhiSub:-Plight of Foreign Medical Graduates of India & waysto improve supply of competent doctors in India,while eliminating all types of incompetent doctorsR/sir,Thousands of meritorious youth of mother India, who could notafford Crores of Donation in Pvt. Medical colleges, & could not get meagrelyavailable Govt. seats but still determined to pursue this noble profession ofmedicine, go abroad for economical medical education.But on return, they are being discriminated in the name ofscreening test by the Medical Council ofIndia, in collusion with National Board of Medical examination, & Govt. ofIndia. A glance at the p percentage of screening tests (just 15% to 30% withan average of 20%) will reveal the amountof discrimination being meted out by MCI to these graduates.I do not buy MCI’s argument that medical education all overthe world is not up to Indian standards as justification for such a low ppercentage over such a long period. If their education is so poor, how comethey have much better healthcare system than India has. And if 80% foreigngraduates are indeed not worthy, why not ban foreign medical educationcompletely? Why waste our youth & financial resources for such a worthlesseducation & spoil life of 80% students who could have been productivelyused in other fields of life for the benefit of mother india?However, the fact of the matter is that such discriminatorilylow ping percentage is deliberately kept to incite fear psychosis in the mindsof students, so that they do not go abroad & ultimately fall pray to Pvt.Medical Colleges to cough up Crores in Donation. As the fear increases, demand forthese seats increases, & as the demand increases, the donation amountincreases. Part of this donation goes to MCI bosses is no more a secrete. MCIbosses become wealthy, the dens of corruption flourish, but, mother indiasuffers. Artificial shortage of doctors is created. Rural potion falls prayto quacks, thus our National Health parameters decreases, & mother Indiabecomes sick.Scores of Pvt. medical colleges openly auction their seats incrores, & p their students from their own Pvt universities by takingcrores again. We know how their faculties & facilities are checked by MCI,which exist only on paper. However, the quality of students admitted & thequality of Doctors produced is nowhere checked even on paper by any Govt.agency. They all are blanketly stamped competent without any scrutiny because corruptofficials get their share of Donation.Has MCI ever checked the standard of these Pvt. MedicalCollege students by subjecting them to such a test?Is it not possible that MCI is asking for some alienstandards from foreign medical college students, which its own Pvt. MedicalCollege graduates do not possess?The solution to this problem lies in subjecting both foreignmedical graduates as well as Pvt. Medical College graduates to a uniformlicentiate examination to know if they all have minimum basic knowledge before stampingthem competent & allowing them to play with our life. There will be severalbenefits to mother india & the only loosers will be corrupt officials &Pvt. Medical College mafia, as explained below.1.There will be no discrimination against anyone as all aresubjected to the same test. As the fear psychosis will eliminate, more &more students will go abroad for economical medical education thus increasingsupply of Doctors which ailing mother india badly needs, without any burden onGovt. resourses, & without compromising on standards.2creased supply of quality Doctors will improve the healthparameters of ailing mother India. India will be gradually viewed as a healthycountry.3. All incompetent doctors, whether Foreign medical collegegradutes or Pvt. Medical college graduates will not be able to get in to thesystem, thus reducing medical negligence, which will be again beneficial toailing mother India.4. Only losers will be corrupt officials & private medicalmafia making crores by auctioning their seats, & still gving sub standard education, as demand for theirseats will be greatly reduced as nowstudents will have the choice of economical education without fear ofdiscrimination. But, the benefit to mother India will be that healthcare willbe free of corruption, money power & vested interests, which in turn willreduce the overall cost of healthcare, & promote competence, as Pvt.Medical Colleges will have no choice but to improve their standards.The proof of validity of above argument will lie in the factthat the only opposition you will face is from corrupt officials, the Pvt.Medical college mafia & the existing students of such colleges. Oppositionfrom existing students of Pvt. Medical colleges can be overcome by not makingthese rules applicable to existing students. Those left will be corruptofficials & Pvt. Medical college Mafia as they will loose the maximum.But, Mother india will get a lot. Corruption from healthcarewill reduce, overall cost of healthcare will reduce, medical negligence willreduce, healthcare will be greatly improved, with increased supply of qualitydoctors & mother india will no more be ailing.If all these need legislative changes, taking a long time, inthe short run we can atleast reduce the discrimination meted out to ForeignMedical College Graduates by not subjecting them to some alien standards oftest which our own Pvt. Medical Colleges do not possess, by subjecting a sampleof such Pvt Medical College doctors to this test on voluntary basis for studypurpose only to find out if the standard expected are indeed those possessed byIndian Pvt. Medical College Graduates. Since, all these Pvt. Medical collegegraduates are blanketly stamped competent, they all must easily pthis test. Or, it will prove that blanket stamping of Pvt. Medical collegegraduates as competent is indeed money driven & not merit driven, which isdetrimental to health of Mother India in more than one way as explained above.This will reduce some discrimination in short run, will result in increasedsupply of quality doctors, as fear of subjecting them to some alien standardswill be removed & Govt. will come to know the actual standards of such Pvt.Medical College Graduates. However, to get the real picture all this exerciseshould be undertaken by an independent body free from the influence of MCI asthis will also expose how these Pvt. Medical Colleges were recognised by MCI,which is the main culprit. Thankingyou, Yourssincerely, (RK Agrawal)Copy to:1. PrimeMinister of India, sh. Narendra bhai Modi, New Delhi2. NationalBoard of Examination, New Delhi3. MedicalCouncil of India, New Delhi
  7. D
    Dr Rajeev
    Jun 8, 2014 at 6:46 pm
    Pls save medical education and revive the medical profession. Try to implement NEET - single exam statewide at UG level and nationwide NEET at medical PG level. this will immensely help stop corruption in MCI also.
  8. D
    dr sandeep
    Jun 9, 2014 at 10:56 am
    Very nice sir
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