In a strong move to zero in on doctors who have studied in state or civic-run medical colleges but have not completed the mandatory one-year bond and/or cleared the fees, the Directorate of Medical Education and Research (DMER) has asked doctors to submit their bond-free certificate to the state medical council.
The DMER, on September 21, issued a notice stating that it has instructed the Maharashtra Medical Council (MMC) not to renew the registration of the doctors who have failed to submit the bond-free certificate to them.
The notice clarified that such doctors will be treated as bogus doctors and they are liable to action under the Maharashtra Medical Profession Act, 1961.
Dr Pravin Shingare, DMER said, “In Maharashtra, we have enough doctors but a majority of them are not ready to practise in rural areas, leading to shortage of medical practitioners for those areas. We have been facing difficulty, finding those undergraduate and postgraduate medical students, who have studied in state-run and BMC-run medical colleges, but have not served the bond or have defaulted in paying their fees. With this move, we hope to catch hold of them.”
Earlier, the MMC had issued a similar circular after which the Indian Medical Association, an umbrella body of modern medicine practising doctors, met the administrator and asked them to review the circular.
Dr Ravi Wankhedkar, National President-elect of Indian Medical Association (IMA) told My Medical Mantra that the DMER notice is an irrational decision which should be reversed.
“In July, a similar circular was issued by the Maharashtra Medical Council (MMC) after which our representatives met the MMC administrator and he assured that this will be applicable to doctors who have registered 10 years back. He had assured us that doctors, who already have renewed their registration twice in the past, won’t be subjected to the mandatory bond-free certificate submission for registration renewal,” said Dr Wankhedkar.
He also added that DMER does not have the authority to stop the renewal of registration. “Also, the government doesn’t have that many vacancies to accommodate 5,000 doctors passing out each year. Therefore, this notice sounds very irrational.”
Dr Shingare however said the government has 2,000 vacant posts for specialists and 3,000 vacant posts for MBBS in Maharashtra, and in various departments. “My office has not received any letter from the medical fraternity or MMC, so far. As on date, this notice is applicable to all doctors who have completed their medical degrees from state or municipal corporation run medical colleges,” he said.
According to the rules of Medical Council of India (MCI), it is mandatory for doctors across the country to renew their registrations every five years to continue practising anywhere in India.
At present, a doctor must earn 30 credit hours by attending ‘recognised’ conferences or publishing books to renew his/her registration.
Any doctor, who fails to do so, will lose his/her registration and he/she is not authorised to sign any official medical papers.
Also, his/her name is removed from the database of the Indian Medical Register following which he/ she loses the right to practice.