The Maharashtra Medical Council (MMC) has written to the state government to notify elections urgently in accordance with the MMC Act to run its administration in an effective manner as the present Council's five year tenure got over on May 21, 2016. As per an MMC official, the elections are very much required as the members elected through the election process can duly appoint a full time registrar with the prior permission of the state government, in accordance with MMC Act.
Since elections are pending, administration of the council is currently being run on an ad hoc basis by an ayurvedic doctor which is not in accordance with the MMC Act besides the fact that he also holds an additional charge of Maharashtra Council of Indian Medicine (MCIM) in contravention to the provisions of the MMC Act.
MMC, the quasi judicial body representing 85,000 doctors in the state, had sent two letters on the same in the month of April and May this year but didn’t get any response from the state government.
MMC had also remained defunct from 1998 to 2010 following a Bombay High Court order that suspended it due to irregularities in the election of members and maintenance of register which led to the backlog of over 600 cases which are now with the council since it took over in 2012 after being defunct for 12 years.
Meanwhile, MMC and the Medical Council of India has also petitioned to the Bombay High Court (HC) in opposition to crosspathy practised in the state where in Ayurveda and Homoeopathy practitioners are allowed to prescribe allopathy medicines which again is not in accordance to the MMC Act.
According to officials, there are various cases pending in the court. At this juncture, it is surprising that charge of MMC has been given to a registrar from Maharashtra Council of Indian Medicine (MCIM), a council for Ayurveda, Siddha and Unani practitioners
The MMC is the state branch of the Medical Council of India (MCI) that regulates ethical practices of allopathic doctors. Any doctor who wishes to start practice has to first register with the MMC for a licence. The MMC can cancel or suspend the licence if the doctor is found indulging in any unethical practice. By taking care of medical cases, it also ensures less burden on courts.
Over 400 cases related to medical negligence, false advertisements and violation of Pre-Conception and Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques (Prohibition of Sex Selection) Act (PCPNDT Act) have been successfully disposed of by the MMC over the past 4 years. This according to officials is despite the backlog of over 600 cases in the past which are now with the council since it took over in 2012 after being defunct for 12 years.
According to official sources, the current appointment of an ayurvedic doctor by the state government flouts two MMC laws which stipulates that a registrar can be appointed only by elected MMC members in agreement with the government, and the second, the registrar cannot hold any additional charge. In Dr Wange's case, the appointment was done by the government unilaterally and he holds additional charge of the registrar at MCIM apart from being an associate professor at an Ayuverda college.