Reforming the Medical Council of India

Shashank S Tiwari

Abstract

The recent editorials by Dr George Thomas and Dr Sunil K Pandya in the IJME with respect to the functioning of the Medical Council of India (MCI) force us to think about how reforms can be introduced inthe MCI. Dr Pandya suggests that we would do well to learn a lesson from the General Medical Council (GMC) of the United Kingdom (UK). It is true that the MCI can learn from many aspects of the GMC reforms which were introduced in the 1980s, especially after the Bristol case1 and the Shipman affair2. One of the most notable reforms introduced by the GMC was greater representation of lay members in its fitness-to-practice committee. At the moment, there are equal numbers of medical and lay members in the GMC. This suggests that the public has an equally important role as do physicians in regulating clinicians in the UK. In contrast, in the MCI, there is not a single representative of the public among the total of 89 members under different categories. As for the GMC, of its 12 members, half (ie six) are from among the public.

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