New Delhi: The Union government has decided in principle to dissolve the scam-hit Medical Council of India. In its place there will be a seven-member doctors panel which will carry out the functions of the MCI till the Indian Medical Council Act is amended.
The Health Ministry will identify the doctors on the panel that will include former AIIMS chief Dr Venugopal and Dr Deka. The medical council is to be dissolved through an ordinance.
The panel, ,empowered with the approval authority of medical colleges for now, will also submit a blue print to the Prime Minister on constitution of a new body to replace the Medical Council of India.
Earlier, Ketan Desai, the mastermind of the big medical scam, had resigned from the post of President of the MCI. He was replaced by two of his close aides, one of them even had faced a CBI probe.
Desai's resignation did not come as a surprise as the tainted doctor's underhand deals have been making headlines since his arrest by the CBI on the April 22 last when he was caught taking a bribe of Rs 2 crore.
After his resignation, Dr Kesavankutty Nair, the Vice President of the MCI will preside over all meetings. But will that help clean the mess that Desai has created in the medical education regulatory authority.
Nair, now the acting President and Dr ARN Setalvad, Secretary of the MCI, both are Desai loyalists. Nair held fort for Desai after he was ousted by the Delhi High Court on corruption charges in 2001. On Desai's return in 2008, Nair ensured that Desai became president again.
Dr ARN Setalvad, secretary of the MCI, is said to have passed files to Desai after he was removed in 2001. In fact, the CBI registered a case against him in 2007 and found him guilty of appointing cronies.
Hence, the way out is to appoint an independent regulator, experts say.
The Chairman of Team Lease Services from Bangalore Manish Sabarwal says: "The MCI is the judge, jury and the prosecutor. They are the lower court, High Court and Supreme Court. So, there was nobody else you could go to and therefore they extracted their rents. So, I think architecting the new regulator in a way that it cannot be captured by either an individual or a group is very important. It's very difficult, but it has been done all over the world and in many places it works well."