Millennium Post

Let excellence be the benchmark

The medical Council of India (MCI) was established, according to its own proclamation, with the main function of establishing uniform standards of higher qualifications in medicine and recognition of medical qualifications in India and abroad. The ethics for the medical professionals promulgated by the MCI mentions, ‘The prime object of the medical profession is to render service to humanity; reward or financial gain is a subordinate consideration. Who- so-ever chooses his profession, assumes the obligation to conduct himself in accordance with its ideals. A physician should be an upright man/woman, instructed in the art of healing. He/She shall keep himself pure in character and be diligent in caring for the sick; he/she should be modest, sober, patient, prompt in discharging his/her duty without anxiety; conducting himself/herself with propriety in his/her profession and in all the actions of his/her life.’ A close scrutiny of the functioning of the MCI especially in the past decade or so would show that the medical fraternity’s apex body’s functioning has itself been nowhere close to the benchmark it has set for the medical professionals in the country. In May 2010 the government dissolved the MCI following the arrest of its president Dr Ketan Desai by the Central Bureau of Investigations (CBI). The investigative agency booked Desai and three others for allegedly accepting a bribe to permit Patiala-based Gyan Sagar Medical College to recruit a fresh batch of students without having adequate infrastructure.

After the dissolution, a fresh body was constituted under the presidentship of eminent cardiologist Professor KK Talwar, currently director of Post Graduate Institute, Chandigarh. Among the board of governors are several eminent physicians and surgeons, all nominated by the government, who are expected to set the highest standards of medical education. However, the revelation that rules were being misused to facilitate transfer of undeserving students from a private to a government medical college should shake confidence of the government about the integrity of the new body too.

Leading doctors like Talwar and his colleagues on the board could be least expected to oblige the undeserving students. During their long career in medical profession they would have saved many a lives but they would do a greater service to humanity by keeping the functioning of the MCI above board and free of corrupt practises. The country needs doctors to provide service to humanity and not treat the noble profession as business.
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