The Maharashtra Medical Council (MMC),quasi-judicial body of 85,000 doctors in the state, has not heard any case of medical negligence in the past seven months.
There are a total of 1,200 negligence cases which require speedy redressal and out of that 650 cases have been successfully settled till date, according to an MMC official.
There is also no clarity on the fate of around 700 cases of medical negligence as an MMC official pinpointed cases continued to be filed but remained unheard since the council term got over in 21 May 2016 and when the state government delayed in notifying elections.
The state government delayed in suitably replying to the Bombay High Court (HC) 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.
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.
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.
The Council used to dispose 100 cases annually in the last four years since it took over in 2012. 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 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.