09 January 2011
By Anuradha Mascarenhas
CITY doctors, like those in the rest of the state, have just had some critical rules revised for them. Doctors in the state must now earn 30 credit hours by attending ‘recognised’ conferences or by publishing books to renew their registration. Medical practitioners who fail to do so will have to face legal consequences.
The government’s new guidelines on medical ethics has prompted the Maharashtra Medical Council (MMC) to issue a notice to registered medical practitioners to earn the necessary credit hours. While the notice issued under Section 23 (a) of the MMC Act is for those doctors whose names were enrolled in the medical register from January 1, 2006, till December 31, 2006, it is evident that registrations will not be renewed unless the criteria is met.
A notice issued by the MMC even pointed out that the organisations conducting the conferences also need to be accredited so that the certificate of attendance at such continuing medical education programmes can be valid.
Dr Sanjay Gupte, member of the MMC, told Newsline that this was for the first time such a move had been initiated so that doctors can keep themselves updated to improve the quality of care of their patients.
Medical registrations have to be renewed every five years.
"Doctors should not be satisfied with their current level of proficiency and must strive to enhance their competence and knowledge by keeping abreast with the latest developments in the field," says Dr Jayant Navrange, secretary of the medico–legal cell of the Pune branch of the Indian Medical Association (IMA).
City–based Dr Devendra Shirole, also former state President of the IMA, said: "The rules may be harsh but they are required. Hence, a physician will have to participate in professional meetings as part of Continuing Medical Education Programmes for at least 30 hours every five years, organised by reputed profes sional academic bodies or any other authorised organisation."
"Registered medical practitioners, who fail to apply for renewal within four months, will have to face legal consequences," says Gupte. "He will not be allowed to practice if his registration is not renewed. Practicing without registration is quackery and the practitioner will have to face legal action," says Navrange.
The notice which was issued by S S Galinde, registrar of MMC, has directed the medical practitioners to submit certificates of the credit hours they have earned for renewal of registration.
At present, there are 70,000 registered medical practitioners in the state and 12,500 in Pune district. Must earn 30 credit hours by attending conferences or publishing books