Medical Council asked to expedite MBBS seat enhancement


Stung by the Medical Council of India (MCI)’s feet dragging over the MBBS seats cancellation-restoration issue, the union health ministry has urged the statutory body to urgently take a call on compliance reports filed by educational institutions all over the country.

Union health minister Dr Harsh Vardhan said here on Wednesday that about 10,000 meritorious students face a bleak future because of the MCI’s obsession with minor details.

“Most of the deficiencies in the MCI’s reports are about problems with air-conditioning, or about partition walls in buildings and, of course, the shortage of faculty which is an old irritant. But even though most of the colleges have complied with the MCI’s demands, there has been no acknowledgement. This cannot be expected of MCI,” Dr Harsh Vardhan said.

The minister said senior officials of the ministry, including health secretary Lov Verma, and joint secretary Vishwas Mehta have been forwarding the recommendations of the hearing committee and compliance reports submitted by the various medical colleges. But MCI’s response is awaited, causing anxiety in all quarters, he added.

“The ministry has sent 150 cases, most of them government colleges, for review to MCI but there has been no response. I respect MCI’s autonomy but expect that it appreciates the agony of thousands of meritorious boys and girls whose future is jeopardised by procrastination,” Dr Harsh Vardhan said.

The minister disclosed that he has received numerous delegations of students, doctors, institution managements, members of parliament and other stakeholders complaining of MCI’s attitude.

“Reports are flooding the ministry of medical colleges, including reputed government-owned ones, cutting their intake of undergraduates for the current academic year. This is worrying for the government because the long-term effect would be a deeper crisis in the availability of qualified doctors. As it happens, India has just one doctor per 1,700 people compared to the global average of 1.5 per 1,000. The government has a policy of meeting the shortfall by opening more medical colleges over the next decade,” according to a statement by the union health ministry.

“MCI had undertaken to send its recommendations to the health ministry for issuance of letters of permission by June 15, 2014 as per a revised schedule made in May. In follow up, the government’s deadline for issuing letters of permission or denial was set for July 15, 2014. But with MCI reneging on its undertaking, the government is dismayed that it would not be in a position to mitigate the suffering of the students,” the statement said.

Dr Harsh Vardhan said, “It is disturbing that amidst all the reports of students’ agony over the delay, the non-seriousness of the MCI’s Executive Committee is appalling. Yesterday they had a meeting but we are yet to receive word on its outcome.”

In a letter to MCI president Dr Jayshreeben Mehta, health secretary Lov Verma has suggested that MCI should file an interlocutory application before the Supreme Court in the Priya Gupta case. The objective should be to get an extension to August 8, 2014 so that the passing of the present deadline does not have a destructive impact, the statement added.

Source: India Medical Times

MCI cuts 200 MBBS seats in Chattisgarh


The Chhattisgarh government is making desperate attempts to convince the Medical Council of India (MCI) to reverse its recent decision to 200 medical seats in the state for the ensuing 2014-15 academic years. With the cut, only 250 seats are left, leaving other aspirants in a lurch.

According to information, the MCI found a host of deficiencies in all the state-run medical colleges at Raipur, Bilaspur, Jagdalpur and Raigarh and it cut 50 seats in each of the institutions. While Raipur and Bilaspur Medical colleges hitherto had 150 seats each, the MCI has permitted to counselling for only 100 seats in each college.

The Jagdalpur Medical College, which earlier had 100 seats, has been permitted to recruit for only 50 seats. The Raigarh Medical College, which only had 50 seats, has been declared a “zero year” with the all the seats being cut for various deficiencies, including faculty.
Source: Times of India

Harsh Vardhan raps Medical Council of India, says it failed to fulfil task


Holding Medical Council of India (MCI) responsible for the deterioration in standard of medical colleges, Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan today said senior doctors should promote values which formed part of medical community in earlier generations. “They (MCI) have not fulfilled their task,” the Minister said as he referred to the general perception that the quality of medical colleges were not up to old standards.

“It was therefore up to senior doctors to continuously promote the values which formed part of the medical community in earlier generations,” he said during his visit to Safdarjung Hospital. “All doctors should consider themselves privileged to be able to serve their families as well as society. The greatest challenge for a doctor is to be a good human being,” Vardhan said.

The Health Minister who visited the RML Hospital and AIIMS over the past two days asked the medical community to begin a process of introspection without which they cannot hope to conquer disease. “We conquered polio by tapping the best in people, and I am sure we can do it in the case of meeting all the Millennium Development Goals before the target date,” he said.

The Minister also asked doctors to promote rational use of essential drugs. “Young doctors should be trained in this principle which has been recommended by WHO. Patients should be administered drugs appropriate to their clinical needs in doses that meet their requirements. However, the present culture seems to be to write out medicines without thought to their justifiability,” he said.

He instructed the Medical Superintendent of Safdarjung hospital to initiate the process of training of junior doctors about rational use of drugs as soon as they join hospitals.

Source: daily news and analysis

Medical Council of India suspends licence of city doctor for medical negligence


The Medical Council (MCI) of India has debarred a city doctor from practicing for three years after its ethics committee found him guilty of medical negligence and printing incorrect information about his qualification on the prescription paper. The order came on petition filed by banker Sudhir Srivastava who held that his wife Nidhi died due to wrong diagnosis and treatment by Dr Vipul Shah.

A copy of the order, that was received by the applicant on Wednesday, debarred Dr Shah from practice for two and three years under separate charges. Both the suspension will run simultaneously. The MCI has directed state medical faculty to erase the name of Dr Vipul Shah from its record. On being contacted, Dr Vipul Shah said that he was not aware of any such order.

Source: Times of India

High Court directs MCI to review forensic medicine curriculum in MBBS course

current practice in forensic medicine cover

The Nagpur bench of Bombay High Court has directed the Medical Council of India (MCI) to review the curriculum of forensic medicine in the MBBS course and find out if any revision of the curriculum is needed.

Peeved by the “inadequate and irrational” curriculum of forensic medicine in the MBBS course, a Sevagram-based doctor Indrajit Khandekar had approached the judiciary seeking its immediate revamp.

Dr Khandekar, who is in-charge of Clinical Forensic Medicine Unit (CFMU) and associate professor at Mahatma Gandhi Institute of Medical Sciences (MGIMS) in Sevagram (Wardha), had challenged the existing syllabus before the Nagpur bench of Bombay High Court on the ground that it has no provision for bedside practical teaching of clinical forensic work and forensic postmortem (FPM) work like other clinical subjects. The plea was based on a 464-page study report of the petitioner.

In an order issued on March 13, a division bench comprising Justice B P Dharmadhikari and Justice P R Bora directed the MCI that they shall look into the suggestions given in representation made by the petitioner for revamping the curriculum of forensic medicine in accordance with law and to proceed further and find out whether any revision of the curriculum is necessary or not.

The petitioner’s counsel Anil Kilor had contended that because of lack of bedside practical teaching of medico-legal aspects half-baked and inadequately trained MBBS doctors are being produced in the country.

“Government expects all types of medico-legal work (MLW) from such doctors when they join as Casualty Medical officer (CMO) or Medical Officer after completion of MBBS degree. A quality medico-legal work cannot be expected from such pseudo-experts. That’s why at present quality of medico-legal work in the country is very poor and abysmal which helps in acquittal of accused in majority of cases and also leads to miscarriage of justice,” the counsel argued.

According to the petitioner, there are instances where judiciary has passed strictures against doctors and even government has taken serious actions against doctors for poor quality of medico-legal work.

“But, unfortunately all concerned agencies including government never tried to correct the actual reason — i.e., only theoretical teaching of forensic medicine and lack of bedside practical teaching — behind this. Till the curriculum is amended and properly implemented no one should expect good quality of medico-legal work from the doctors,” said Dr Khandekar.

Kilor further pointed out shortcomings in medico-legal examination in assault cases, recording of dying declaration, sexual violence exam, injury report preparation, age estimation, alcoholic and weapon exams, burn and dowry cases including postmortem exam etc.

According to Dr Khandekar, the key reasons for the poor quality of medico-legal work are production of half-baked and untrained doctors by the MCI; allowing such untrained doctors by the government to do medico-legal work; and private medical colleges not allowed to do postmortem exam.

Dr Khandekar suggested that functional forensic autopsy and clinical forensic medicine units (CFMU) should be set up in every private and govt medical college; clinical forensic and forensic autopsy posting schedule should be provisioned in the syllabus itself for bedside practical teaching like other 15 clinical specialties and all medico-legal work of casualty, trauma centre and hospital should be handed over to the department of forensic medicine under CFMU.

He further suggested compulsory internship in CFMU and autopsy units for a period of one month; optimum teacher student ratio for bedside practical teaching; provision for court visits for MBBS students in batches; and teaching of the subject should be taken up in the later part of the clinical years.

Source: India Medical Times

Medical Council of India cuts seats in medical colleges

Medical colleges in the state are facing heat from the Medical Council of India regarding increase of PG medical seats.
Several medical colleges that had secured additional seats last year have failed to upgrade infrastructure facilities and appoint the required faculty in accordance with the seat hike.

The MCI, which has started inspections of the colleges to grant approvals for this year, is upset with the poor facilities in the colleges and the inspectors are recommending taking away the increased seats.

Recently, MCI recommended cutting down PG medical seats in Andhra Medical College, Vizag. Finding deficiencies with regard to infrastructure facilities and faculty in the college, the inspection team has recommended slashing five seats each in MD (Paediatrics) and Ms (ENT), which were increased last year. Similarly, other old medical colleges such as Osmania, Gandhi etc. too face the risk of losing seats that were increased last year. MCI teams have already inspected Osmania Medical College twice and are apparently dissatisfied with the inadequate infrastructure.

The MCI had given “conditional approval” for increase in intake last year after taking an undertaking from the state government that it would upgrade the facilities within a year. However, the state government failed to do so due to a delay in release of funds.
Meanwhile, the MCI is set to begin inspections to grant approvals for MBBS seats for this year and it is being feared that the deficiencies in infrastructure and faculty might affect the MBBS seats too as it has happened for PG.

Source: Deccan Chronicle

Low-cost ultrasound machines may help reduce maternal mortality in rural areas

In one of the US Government’s Department of Health and Human Services’ reports for grants and guides, there has been a mention of the prerequisite of developing handheld ultrasound devices, especially for the detection of abscesses of lymph node enlargement, applicable to patients with HIV positive or negative. However, the need of ultrasound in medical services is huge as it is most popularly used for basic screening of high-risk pregnancies, cardiac, vascular, radiology, endocrinology and paediatric purposes. “It is most cost-effective and non-radiating machine that is used in any hospital across the globe. For a doctor who wants to have a quick insight of the reason behind the stomach pain, ultrasound is an immediate choice of diagnosis,” S Ganesh Prasad, director, ultrasound imaging, GE Healthcare, told India Medical Times.


According to Ganesh Prasad, ultrasound devices have existed in India for 20 years now but the significant market growth has happened in the last 10 years. “Prior to this, the ultrasound devices were available everywhere for the cost of 50,000 dollars (Rs 30 lakh) each but with the introduction of medical technology, low-cost devices have been produced and brought to various customers. Today, ultrasound machines are distributed for the cost ranging from Rs 2 lakh to Rs 70 lakh to various hospitals and medical experts.”

He further said, “The ultrasound machine worth Rs 2 lakh is a simple machine with which you can only do a simple scan to see womb or foetus, while the advanced ultrasound technology with higher cost provides you the real time assistance in witnessing the dynamic evolution of a foetus.”

GE Healthcare is doing a lot of research and development to improve the high quality ultrasound machine’s price form. “Our low-cost ultrasound devices range starts from Rs 4 to 5 lakh,” informed Ganesh Prasad.

“The cost of ultrasound machines depends on different gradations that the machine offers. Some are high-end machines of which prices go up to Rs 1 crore, mid-end machines cost around Rs 50 lakh and low-end machines are good enough for all the purposes, which cost up to Rs 12 to 15 lakh,” Dr Rakhee Gogoi, head of radiology, Paras Hospitals, Gurgaon, told India Medical Times while giving an estimate on the cost of the machines.

Quality Vs Low Cost

“We don’t believe in cheaper performance machine. We make products, which are good for the customers in terms of high technology. By the end of the year, we are planning to release a tablet ultrasound for the first time ever in the world. Every occupation could have it. For example, when a pregnant lady goes for a screening or check-ups, most of the time it’s only the physical exam that’s being done. Many a times, at the time of complication during delivery, there is no machine available for the doctors to see and learn the condition of foetus inside. The whole objective behind this technology is to make it relevant for you. We focus on target customer group and capability of technology, bringing it to a point of price that’s affordable,” said Ganesh Prasad.

GE’s low cost ultrasound devices come at the price point of Rs 5 lakh and products with a valid portfolio come with three years warranty. “We deploy current technology, not compromising in the quality at all levels. The whole idea behind offering three years warranty is to focus on quality as we understand that maintenance charges is a very good factor for the sustenance of ultrasound machines to a customer. We give the quality of a high-end machine but at the lower cost for people,” said Manoj Menon, communication leader, GE Healthcare India.

Penetrating Rural India

“Our villages do not have many ultrasound machines in rural areas. Ultrasound is very basic and important modality that can be used to detect any sort of pathology at a very early stage. Often, villagers come for the treatment when it’s too late for the problem till then the condition has gone out of hand. This is the reason why introduction and distribution of low-cost ultrasound machines will be really helpful in the rural areas,” said Dr Gogoi.

GE Healthcare is already planning to introduce low-cost ultrasound machines in the rural areas of India. “We have divided the market in tiers. Tier I is metro, tier II involves cities like Jaipur and tier III, IV and V have rural districts under them. We are doing good in tier I and tier II. In the tier III market, we have just stepped into. Besides producing the equipment, we are also creating a distribution network and affordability packages that has to be taken further,” said Menon.

Ganesh Prasad asserted, “Tier III is a fastest growing market with 22-23 per cent growth and that is going to be our area of focus. The reason why we have not penetrated as much in the tier III is because of the availability of the cost price for this kind of market. Our main effort has been to build a distribution network around tier II and the more challenging is going to be creating distribution around tier III.”

Improving Healthcare Situations

India has a high maternal mortality rate. “By proper screening during pregnancy, we can see improvement in the outcomes and avoid maternal or infant death during delivery. Ultrasound is the only device that can be used on a pregnant lady. Secondly, in rural areas, deliveries are still done at home which is intoxicating for a mother as well as for a child. With the introduction or availability of ultrasound machines in hospitals or nursing homes in tier III areas, pregnant women can be taken to hospitals for screenings. Some states have already taken the lead as Gujarat has improved its IMR rates and is moving towards greater institutional deliveries, while Tamil Nadu has also seen dramatic improvements in the reduction of infant mortality,” said Ganesh Prasad.

For Dr Jitendra Sharma, head, division of healthcare technology, National Health System Resource Centre, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, the idea of handheld ultrasound devices clinically would be great and cost-effective. “It would be better than static ultrasound which comes for lakhs of rupees. What we are concerned about is social and regulatory aspect. Even with the static ultrasound machines in hospitals, we have not been practically able to control female abortions. If the hand held devices are sold in the market, let that market be rural or urban, how would female foeticide be controlled,” he told India Medical Times.

Controlling the Misuse for Sex Determination

Dr C V Bhirmanandham, vice president, Medical Council of India, told India Medical Times, “Why spend so much money when we can get good results from a low-cost ultrasound machine? But it should not be misused. The medical practitioners using the machines should be registered with a concerned authority and should be regularly monitored. Anyone caught misusing the machines for sex determination should be readily punished and their license should be cancelled.”

Dr Bhirmanandham also emphasised on the certification that the trainee must get from the concerned authority. “They have to follow the government of India policies and have to be ethical in their approach,” he added.

According to the Pre-Conception and Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques (PCPNDT) Act, 1994, the law prohibits any person from using ultrasound equipment for the detection of the sex of an unborn child. With an amendment in 2002 to the PCPNDT Act, the manufacturers and distributors of the ultrasound machines have to ensure the proper use of the equipment and are prohibited from selling, renting, permitting or authorizing the use of ultrasound machines for foetal sex determination. Manufacturers of ultrasound machines must also confirm that the customer has a valid PCPNDT certificate and they are also to provide the government with a quarterly report disclosing to whom the equipments have been sold.

“Hence, we don’t sell any of our ultrasound equipments to customers who are not registered under the PNDT Act. However, we believe that limiting the access of technology is more dangerous because we talk of saving lives and with the use of ultrasound technology, lives with different diagnosis can be saved. As per the government policies, we also continue to report to the government in every three months, disclosing about our dealings,” said Ganesh Prasad.

Source; India Medical Times

MCI mulls shortening of MBBS course duration by 1 year

The duration of the MBBS course could be shortened by one year with the Medical Council of India (MCI) thinking about introducing specialist skills for undergraduates earlier than what is the practice at present.

Official sources said that the MCI academic council is likely to meet next week to finalise the new curriculum and send it to the government for approval.

The MBBS course presently stretches for five-and-a-half years four-and-a-half years of academic studies and one year of internship.

Sources said that the curriculum is seen as devoting too much time to general medical studies and the various aspects of the human anatomy, which may not be of much use to students who opt for specialisation in later years.

The new curriculum, which they said would take away nothing while giving more freedom to students, envisages adequate skill training at the initial level while introducing students to clinical and analytical courses.

“The idea is to let students study in detail the subject of their choice and develop expertise in that topic instead of studying all subjects in detail. It will save a lot of time and sharpen their skills,” they said.

Experts believe that students should be allowed to carry on studying their subject of specialisation once they become conversant with the human anatomy.

They were also of the view that the present curriculum did not provide sufficient skills in the early years, which they said was crucial at a time of growing specialization and super -specialization.

Source: zee news

NHRC asks MCI to introduce ‘Gerontology’ in medical colleges

The National Human Rights Commission on Wednesday asked the Medical Council of India and Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare to explore the possibility of introducing a new post-graduate level course in ‘Gerontology’ in medical colleges.

The directions were issued keeping in view the problems in old age and the need for providing dedicated facilities to senior citizens as required under Section 20 of the Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizens Act, 2007, according to an NHRC statement released today.

The Commission observed that with the passage of time, the percentage of aged persons in the country is likely to go up considerably and to deal with their problems, it is necessary that the healthcare system in the country should be well equipped.

Accordingly, the Commission in its notice to the Secretaries, Medical Council of India and the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has sought their response within eight weeks.

Source: Zee news

MCI asked to consider introducing PG level course in Gerontology

The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) on Wednesday asked the Medical Council of India (MCI) and the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare to explore the possibility of introducing a new postgraduate level course in ‘Gerontology’ in medical colleges.

This is in keeping in view the problems in old age and the requirement for providing dedicated facilities to senior citizens as required under Section 20 of the Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizens Act, 2007, the NHRC said in a statement.

The NHRC also observed that with the passage of time, the percentage of aged persons in the country is liable to go up considerably. “To deal with their problems, it is necessary that the healthcare system in the country should be well equipped,” it said.

The Commission in its notice to the Secretaries, Medical Council of India and the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare sought their response within eight weeks.

Source: India Medical times