People's Democracy

(Weekly Organ of the Communist Party of India (Marxist)


No. 09

March 02, 2014




                                                                            Ill Conceived Move by the MCI


In a letter addressed to Ghulam Nabi Azad, union minister for health & family welfare on February 27, CPI(M) Polit Bureau member, Brinda Karat brought to his notice the ill conceived move by the Medical Council of India to bring an amendment to the Ethics regulation for doctors for exempting "the Professional Association of Doctors" from the jurisdiction of the Medical Council of India.


In the recent meeting of the Executive Committee of the Medical Council of
India on February 18, it was decided to amend 6.8 and exempt the "Professional Association of Doctors" from the purview of Medical Ethics.


It should be noted that the 6.8 amendment of Ethics regulation was added in December 2009 following the widespread misuse of the loopholes in Ethics regulation 2002 by the professional association of doctors, including the Indian Medical Association.

It is inconceivable and objectionable that the MCI should exclude associations of medical professionals from the ethical standards that are expected of individual doctors. Does it then mean that what is impermissible for an individual doctor is permissible if he/she acts in association with others, Brinda Karat questioned. It is not just the absurdity of such a position, which is striking. The question arises if such a position has been taken because the present dispensation of the MCI is working to protect the IMA which has been found guilty of violation of ethical standards in an earlier case of endorsement for a remuneration of a commercial product of Pepsico for which action was taken against the office bearers of IMA who were involved, she said and reminded that the minister had personally made a statement in the Lok Sabha on November 19, 2010 in which he had declared that action was taken against the office bearers for their illegal and unethical endorsement.


A case connected  is still pending with the MCI. This relates to the harassment and victimisation of the whistleblower in the case Dr Babu.


The earlier Ethics Committee, now disbanded, had recommended strong action
against the office bearers of IMA responsible for the harassment including suspension of their licenses. The present set of office bearers of MCI have not acted on the Ethics Committee recommendation. On the contrary the MCI has now suggested that professional associations should be exempted. If this is accepted it will mean protection to those guilty of the violation of ethics and a punishment to those who like Dr Babu have spoken out against malpractices, she said.


The letter requested the minister to reject the retrograde and ill conceived move by the Medical Council of India, to amend 6.8 of MCI regulation, to exempt the Professional Association of Doctors from the purview of the Professional Conduct, Etiquette and Ethics for registered medical practitioners.