New Delhi: Government would soon bring in
a law for the formation of an overarching body to regulate
medical education in the country and till then a seven-member
panel of doctors will replace the scam-tainted Medical Council
of India, which has been dissolved.
Health Secretary Sujatha Rao said, a draft law for the
formation of such a body would be formulated within a month.
"We have suggested an overarching body which will be
responsible for maintaining standards and regulation of
medical colleges," she told reporters adding that the draft
law would be a legislative response to the credibility crisis
which the MCI was in.
The Union Cabinet is understood to have yesterday
decided in principle to dissolve the Medical Council of India
whose chief Ketan Desai has been arrested by the CBI on graft
Rao said that an ordinance in this regard was awaiting
President`s assent. An ordinance is required since the MCI was
created by an act of Parliament.
Desai was arrested on April 22 by CBI for allegedly
accepting bribe of Rs two crore to give permission to a Punjab
medical college to recruit a fresh batch of students without
having requisite infrastructure. He has already submitted his
resignation to MCI Vice-President P C Kesavankutty Nair.
In Mumbai, Health Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad when asked
about the ordinance indicated that this was required as there
was no law by virtue of which action could have been taken
against the MCI.
Azad said the MCI was created by an act of Parliament.
"That had given them absolute power. In that Act there was no
provision of suspension or even a show-cause notice".
"So...we have to take some action," he said.
Sources said the MCI would be replaced by a
seven-member body of eminent doctors which will look after the
functions of the council. Among the names doing the rounds for
heading the panel are former AIIMS Director P Venugopal.
The main functions of the MCI, set up under the Indian
Medical Council Act, 1933, are to ensure uniform standards in
medical education and grant of recognition to medical degrees
awarded in India and abroad.
The Government had earlier proposed an amendment to
the MCI Act in 2005 to ensure some amount of Government
control over the body. But the proposal had been negated by
the Parliamentary Standing Committee.