MUMBAI: The Maharashtra Medical Council (MMC) needs urgent reforms to perform its primary task as a watchdog of the medical profession, said social health activists ahead of the MMC elections on December 18.
MMC, a quasi-judicial body comprising doctors elected through postal ballot, has the power to suspend andor cancel a doctor's licence. MMC is important for patients because it offers redressal for patients with complaints against doctors. "But MMC hasn't been performing its core duty for the longest time," said Dr Abhay Shukla of NGO CEHAT and author of a book, `Dissenting Diagnosis', which looked at what ails the healthcare system.
The MMC has 750 pending complaints from patients."An RTI reply in 2015 showed that around 600 of these haven't been examined, and there have been complaints that have been pending for 10 years," he added.
At a press conference held on Friday, Thane resident Shreya Nimonkar said she was unhappy with the manner in which the MMC dealt with her complaint of medical negligence against a doctor. "I was sent a copy of the judgment too late to file for an appeal," she said. Although MMC is supposed to be a patient-friendly site, its website doesn't mention the word patient, said Dr Shukla.
The website of MMC has no information for patients about how to make a complaint, in what form the complaint should be made, etc. There is no mention of pending complaints also on their website.
The Citizens-Doctors Forum, Mumbai, said that the doctors standing MMC elections should present a manifesto on how they plan to reform MMC. "We believe the ethics committee of MMC should be more transparent and should allow civil society members as well,'' said Dr Arun Gadre
of the Alliance of Doctors for Ethical Healthcare. Dr M Mirajkar
there is a need for major reforms and 'cleanup' of MMC.