The end of the Medical Council of IndiaBMJ 2018; 363 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.k5070 (Published 04 December 2018) Cite this as: BMJ 2018;363:k5070
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The Medical Council of India was a regulatory body formed to promote medical education by stipulating norms and guidelines to start and run medical colleges in India. With the growth of the population and the need to maintain a proper ratio between physician and patients, medical colleges were started, both in public and in private management, which is roughly around 480 medical colleges all over India (227 government and 252 private). The increase in the number of private medical colleges and a falling standard in medical education turned MCI from a regulatory body to an inspecting organization with an investigative approach. That approach led to finding deficiencies more than adequacy, which led to corruption to dominate the proceedings. Buildings became more important than the number of patients seen by the hospitals. In some areas because of poor accessibility the number of patients were boosted by unethical means. Sometimes students were asked to create false records and case histories. Then it became imperative to video record the inspection and the actual strength of the faculty and patients. The value of medical education has deteriorated over a period of time because of capitation fees and other poor methods of selection. To circumvent this problem, an All India Entrance examination was introduced as the selection process. This has created a divide between the state and the central government, and a few states have considered it a violation of the rights of the state to have its own educational set up and admission.
Leading stalwarts of the field felt that medical education has become costly and not providing equal opportunities to all sections of society. Yet the Central government felt that it has no control over the autonomous body MCI, and to bring out good governance a medical commission is formed.
The commission is supposed to have members with unquestionable integrity and of high ethical standards. Yet the problem of managing medical colleges exists. To circumvent the problem it would be advisable to include members from the Association of government and private medical colleges. It will be better even to have student representatives from both undergraduate and postgraduate levels. This will broaden the vision of the committee and help get positive inputs from all sections of the medical education. Regulatory bodies will help maintain standard medical education. Yet the will to co-operate and follow in a broader sense the policies of the governing body and the medical colleges need co-operation between all of the parties (colleges, governing bodies and medical universities). The lobbying of certain sections of the medical profession has played a role in dividing the basic sciences and clinical departments. Doctorates have become research assistants and technicians having no right to sign clinical chemistry or microbiological investigations when those with MBBS could sign such reports. There needs to be an amalgamation of all parties to promote the standard of medical education, realizing that every spoke in the wheel of medical education has a role to play.
Competing interests: No competing interests