The Indian Medical Association panel swept the Maharashtra Medical Council elections which were held on 18 December, winning all 9 seats that were up for grabs.
The election results, which were declared on Saturday evening, saw the state chapter of the Indian Medical Association defeat three other panels, including the Vaidyakiya Vikas Manch, a pro-BJP body.
The Maharashtra Medical Council comprises 18 members, 9 of which are elected, five are nominated and four are ex officio.
The newly elected members of the Maharashtra Medical Council are: Dr Sanjay Kadam (Nanded), Dr Jayesh Lele (Mumbai), Dr Ashok Tambe (Baramati), Dr Archana Pate (Dombivali), Dr Shivkumar Utture (Mumbai), Dr Mangesh Gulwade (Chandrapur), Dr Dilip Sarda (Pune), Dr Anil Laddhad (Nagpur) and Dr Nisar Shaikh (Ahmednagar). This election, which takes place every five years, had assumed a new significance as doctors have alleged that the state government was attempting to ‘infiltrate’ the MMC, the quasi-judicial body that registers doctors, hears patients’ complaints against doctors involving medical negligence, looks into unethical practices and even bars doctors from practicing.
The MMC and the state government have been at loggerheads over the BJP’s desire for the council to allow homeopathy and Ayurveda practitioners to prescribe allopathic medicine, a practice known in the medical fraternity as ‘crosspathy’. The Indian Medical Association’s state chapter, which also won the 2009 MMC elections, has vehemently opposed this, while the Vaidyakiya Vikas Manch had supported this idea. The MMC’s opinion is slated to play an important role in the case before the Bombay High Court on crosspathy.
Dr Suhas Pingle, ex-member of the state council said, “We thank all the doctors who voted for us. The election result shows that the medical fraternity has completely rejected political interference in the affairs of the state council.”