Hyderabad, April 27: The Medical Council of India, which regulates
medical education, does not know how many doctors are practising in
The data maintained in the MCI register is old and contains even the
names of doctors, who are either dead or have left the country for
"We are unable to update the data on medical practitioners in India, for
the simple reason that we do not have a system of re-registration in the
country. Our register contains the names of doctors who are
practicising as also of those who are no more. Unless we have a system
of re-registration in place, we cannot know how many doctors are in
the profession," MCI president Dr Ketan Desai told this correspondent.
The MCI has recommended that there should be a system of re-
registration of doctors at frequent intervals. But the powerful lobby of
doctors prevailed upon the Central government to keep the proposal in
cold storage for the last five years.
Moreover, the medical knowledge of an average Indian doctor is far
below that of his counterparts in Western countries. This is because
most of the doctors in the country do not want to update their
knowledge to be abreast of the latest developments in the medical
"The MCI has made it mandatory on the part of doctors to attend 30
hours of continuous medical education programme every year in order
to become eligible for re-registration. This will keep them in touch with
the latest developments in the medical field. Many doctors are opposed
to it. The Centre has not cleared the re-registration proposal," Dr Desai
According to him, the MCI has sent as many as 100 recommendations
on various issues to the Central government for clearance. There has
been no decision on them till now. Many of the proposals have been
pending for more than five years.
Dr Desai alleged that the Central government had been clearing new
medical colleges even after the MCI had turned down permission.
Suggesting that the Medical Council of India should be given full autonomy, Dr Desai said the Central government was vetoing the recommendations and proposals of the Council. "The Central government does not want to lose control over the medical education in the country. It wants to control the MCI taking shelter behind the MCI Act," he regretted.
He said the MCI has proposed to relax certain norms for setting up new medical colleges in States where there are not enough medical institutions. "Most of the medical colleges in the country are located in four Southern States. States like Uttar Pradesh and Bihar have fewer medical colleges. We have proposed to relax the norms on possession of land. Instead of a single piece of land, medical colleges can have land at two places," he said.
Present norms stipulate that a medical college should have a fully functional 300-bed hospital and a single piece of 25 acres land.
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