Hyderabad: If you have been a victim of medical negligence or have been lured into an unnecessary surgery and are planning to move the Telangana State Medical Council (TSMC) for justice, think again! The TSMC, it turns out, may not be able to act against the culprits as it finds itself on sticky footing with the 15,000 to 20,000 medical practitioners working in Hyderabad registered with the undivided Andhra Pradesh State Medical Council (APSMC). This leaves the TSMC with no real member strength of its own.
While the Telangana government constituted an interim medical council (GO No 15) with 10 nominated members in January , 2016 -after adapting the AP Medical Practitioners Registration Act, 1968 -no attempt has been made to ensure that all the 45,000 allopathy doctors working in the 10 Telangana districts formally migrate to TSMC.
"Technically, any state medical council, which is the regulatory body for medical professionals, can take action for violation of ethical rules only against its registered members. But unfortunately , there is no proof that 45,000-odd doctors working in Telangana state are registered with TSMC yet," said Dr K Ramesh Reddy , member, Medical Council of India (MCI). "There has been no attempt made to bring all practising doctors in Telangana districts under the jurisdiction of TSMC by initiating the migration process," said Reddy .
Adding to troubled waters, is the fact that TSMC has only nominated members and no elected members. Ramesh said that this leaves the Telangana medical council without any legal sanctity , especially because there are no members to govern in the first place.
The tenuous position of the TSMC, makes the recent controversy surrounding 22-year-old techie Nikhil Reddy's limb-lengthening surgery even more difficult to tackle. The milliion dollar question now is: Does the TSMC have jurisdiction to issue suo motu notice to the team of doctors involved in the case despite the fact that they are still registered with undivided APMC?
"Whether it is APMC or TSMC, it is for the victim or his family to decide where they want to lodge a complaint against the erring doctors," said Dr T Ravi Raju, chairman, ethics committee, APMC.He, however, maintained that even if the migration process of Telangana doctors from APMC to TSMC is not complete, the latter can still exercise its right over doctors practising in Hyderabad or any place in Telangana.
When contacted, Dr Ch Jaganmohan Rao, member, ethics committee of TSMC, acknowledged that there is uncertainty regarding jurisdiction over doctors practising in Hyderabad."We need to talk to our legal experts about this. However, even if there is no separate GO compelling all practising doctors in Telangana to automatically come under TSMC yet, they are deemed to be under our jurisdiction," he said.