Following a series of upheavals to restore Maharashtra Medical Council (MMC) back through a democratic process after a 7- month ordeal, the state government is yet to notify 9 members to the 18 member quasi- judicial body that governs the practice of allopathic doctors in the state.
Besides the rumblings in MMC over certain administrative lapses, Maharashtra Medical Council (MMC) which completed its 5-year term on May 21, 2016 had to also wait for notification for elections from the state government for 7 months and was run on an ad hoc basis by an ayurvedic doctor not in accordance with the MMC Act.
Compounding the problem further, the registrar also held an additional charge of Maharashtra Council of Indian Medicine (MCIM) in contravention to the provisions of the MMC Act.
Indian Medical Association (IMA) and MMC had petitioned to the HC about putting in place a full time administrator/registrar and also notification of MMC elections by the state government in the same petition.
As per the MMC Act, council members getting elected through a democratic process paves the way for appointment of a full time registrar with prior consultation and approval of the state government.
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.
All nine members elected in the recent polls to the MMC are from the IMA. The counting of votes was completed on December 24, 2016. The IMA, which has over 40,000 doctors from across Maharashtra as members, defeated other doctor panels that had emerged this year for the first time to contest for MMC election. In 2010, when the previous elections were held, the IMA was the only panel to nominate members.
Elections to the MMC were held on December 18 across 36 districts of the state at various medical colleges. The newly elected MMC has to dispose of 774 pending medical negligence cases, with the oldest case dating back to 1995.
The IMA candidates have been elected by a huge margin. Dr Sanjay Kadam had the highest victory margin with 9,314 votes. Of the 85,000 voters, the turnout this year was 24 per cent. Other candidates who have been elected are Dr Mangesh Gulwade, Dr Anil Laddhad, Dr Jayesh Lele, Dr Shivkumar Utture, Dr Ashok Tambe, Dr Archana Pate, Dr Dilip Sarga, and Dr Nisarahmed Shaikh.
Across India, IMA has 2.7 lakh doctors in 686 districts and 1,765 local branches.