To continue practising, doctors in the state have to renew their licence once in five years, the Karnataka Medical Council has said. Medical practitioners have opposed the diktat.
Following a directive by the Medical Council of India, KMC has made it mandatory for doctors to collect 30 credit points to be eligible for renewal of licence. These have to be earned by attending workshops and seminars as part of the continuing medical education (CME) programme. So far, KMC has registered over 1.15 lakh doctors. All of them have to re-register -even those who have relocated to other states and foreign countries.
The move has irked doctors. "How can the KMC disqualify a licence issued for life?" asks Dr A S Bhanuprakash, a neurosurgeon. Paediatrician Yashoda Devi wonders how can collecting 30 points ensure a doctor is competent enough to extend hisher licence for five more years. "For more than half the doctors, attending CME seminars is only a formality. They come only to sign at the beginning and end of the conference. There is no guarantee that they have learnt anything new since there's no test conducted at the end of the day," she says. "If gaining more knowledge is important, why not conduct a medical examination for doctors every five years to test their competency levels? Why not maintain a roster of medical negligence cases so that regular defaulters can be debarred from practising," she asks.
Those posted in rural areas feel they are the worst affected. "We can't go out of station even for a day without taking permission from the district health officer. How will we get to attend CMEs? We can't even afford the registration fee given our poor salary," complains a senior doctor with the health and family welfare department.
The Council has sent a notification to hospitals to make sure doctors adhere to the rule. According to Dr H Veerabhadrappa, KMC president, digitization of documents is the need of the hour."There is no provision in the law for per manent registration, though the term was used by my predecessors. We are ready to hold talks with doctors. We can offer some respite to early birds by reducing the number of CME credit hours from 30."