MMC disposes over 400 cases of medical negligence and other violations in last 4 years

MMC disposes over 400 cases of medical negligence and other violations in last 4 years

Mumbai, Jan 2016: 

Over 400 cases related to medical negligence, false advertisements and violation of Pre-Conception and Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques (Prohibition of Sex Selection) Act (PCPNDT Act) have been successfully disposed of by the Maharashtra Medical Council (MMC) over the past 4 years. This according to officials is despite the backlog of over 600 such festering cases in the past which are now with the council since it took over in 2012 after being defunct for 12 years.

The Council remained defunct from 1998 to 2010 following a Bombay High Court order that suspended the body due to irregularities in the election of members and maintenance of register.

Now over 1000 such cases have been registered with the council as of today, disposal of cases has also been a challenging task for the quasi-judicial body as there has also been a spike in the number of cases with 100 cases registered annually.

The Council today boasts of disposing off 100 cases annually in the last four years since it took over. Moreover, there were no cases registered for the past four to five years when it was defunct from 1998 to 2010.

In order to speed up the process, the state council has created three ethical committees that will hear cases and present its report to the executive committee to take a 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.

Says a senior MMC official, "Currently, it is hearing cases filed between 2012 and 2013 and of as late as 1989 and 1990 to clear the back log of old cases first. The MMC's five-member ethical committee sits twice a month to take up cases in one hearing. It then presents its opinion to the executive committee, suggesting either dismissing the case or filing a chargesheet against the doctor if found guilty."

The official further explained that we are clearing the backlog of old cases first going by the law of natural justice which postulates that justice delayed is justice denied. The state council has now been able to conduct seven meetings in two months that will offer speedy hearing of the cases for further redressal and decision making.

In the 12 years that it remained defunct, cases continued to be filed but remained unheard. The task of giving them a speedy hearing now lies on the shoulders of the newly appointed council in force since 2010.

The MMC is the State Branch of the Medical Council of India (MCI) that regulates ethical practices of allopathic doctors. Any doctor wishing 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.Pharmabiz