Even as the Bombay High Court has directed the state government to prepare the electoral roll of registered medical practitioners as a step towards conducting free and fair elections of Maharashtra Medical Council (MMC), no cases of medical negligence have been heard at MMC since the past three months.
There is also no clarity on the fate of around such 800 cases of medical negligence for their effective settlement in the state as the MMC, a quasi-judicial body of 83,000 doctors in the state, is also set to be dissolved based on state government unilateral decision.
In order to fast-track cases of medical negligence, the state council had created three ethical committees that heard 3 cases in one month and then presented its report to the executive committee to take the final decision.
Earlier also, there were no cases registered and heard when it was defunct from 1998 to 2010. The state council remained defunct from 1998 to 2010 following a Bombay High Court order which suspended the body due to irregularities in the election of members and maintenance of Council register. The Indian Medical Council Act, 1956 stipulates an executive committee appointed by the MMC to meet once in two months to take a decision and subsequent action against any medical practitioner found guilty.
Meanwhile, MMC is also upset over the state government serving notice to them for irregularities in its administration and over its appointing a registrar without election followed with a consultative process.
The state government has delayed in suitably replying to the Bombay High Court based on a petition filed by the council on matters related to notification of elections and appointment of registrar contrary to what has been stipulated in the MMC Act.
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.