14 February 2012
The medical fraternity's protest over the Maharashtra Medical Council's (MMC) requirement of 12 hours of continued medical education (CME) to get a re–registration is getting shrill.
Maharashtra's 80,000–odd doctors have to submit their CME certificates to the MMC before February 29.
Senior doctor and medical ethicist Arun Bal, founder–member of the Association for Consumers' Action on Safety & Health, has recently written a letter to MMC president Kishor Taori to protest against this precondition. The CME precondition for renewal of registration is illegal, he has held.
The CME precondition was added when the MMC was dissolved by the Bombay HC over corrupt electoral practices. In the 20 years that it took the council to be elected again, a state government–appointed administrator was in charge. It was one of the MMC administrators, Dr D N Lanjewar, who added the CME clause. "But this clause was never made into an amendment and included in the MMC Act,'' said a senior doctor, requesting anonymity.
Dr Bal said the MMC Act only requires a payment of Rs 500 and a prescribed form for re–registration. "The Medical Council of India (MCI) recommends that doctors gather CME hours but hasn't made it mandatory. Moreover, the MCI Act states that every MBBS graduate has the right to practice."
When contacted, MMC president Dr Kishor Taori said that CMEs keep doctors abreast with developments. "MMC administrators were appointed by the state. So the rules they made are legal. Hence, 12 CME points are needed for re–registration," he said. Regarding the problems faced by doctors in getting the required CME hours, he said it was the job of the concerned medical associations to help their members out.
Moreover, Dr Taori said that CMEs are important in order to update doctors. India is going to export doctors to the world. How can we not take CMEs seriously?''