Hospital, labs may soon be under their jurisdiction

In an attempt to bring every medical service provider within the ambit of the law and to keep tabs on unethical practices, the Maharashtra Medical Council (MMC) has urged the state government to amend the MMC Act of 1965 and equip them with adequate powers. The MMC has demanded the right to take action against corporate and charitable hospitals, health institutions, pathological laboratories, bogus doctors and private clinics. The council plans to send a written proposal to medical education minister Girish Mahajan in this regard.

The decision to submit the proposal was taken a week back during a meeting between members of the MMC and Mahajan. The MMC is in the process of working on the draft and which will be submitted to the minister for approval soon.

Speaking to Mirror, Dr Shivkumar Utture, president, MMC, said, “According to the MMC Act of 1965 the council can take action only against members registered with them. Earlier there were only individual doctors who practised and entities like corporate hospitals, charitable hospitals, institutional hospitals or health care institutions did not exist. As a result there is no provision in the MMC Act to keep a tab on them. If the doctors registered with us are working in a hospital then we don’t have the power to take action against them. Hence we have asked the government to give us adequate powers by amending the act so that we can take action against errant individuals and institutions.”

The president of the monitoring agency pointed out that they were asking the government for powers to act against institutions indulging in unethical practices.

“We can take action against doctors if they advertise but we can’t take action against the hospitals who also indulge in heavy advertising. At present, there are no restrictions on private hospitals or clinics. There is no regulation covering medical negligence or illegal activities in the hospital. Owing to this, we have requested the state government to widen our jurisdiction and include hospitals and clinics. The same has been requested for bogus doctors,” Utture added.

Dr Jayant Navrange, chairman of the medico-legal cell of Indian Medical Association (IMA), said, “The move taken by the MMC is in the right direction as the existing legislation applies only to doctors. At present, we see huge advertisements by hospitals which are often misleading but are not under the purview of the government rules. The government should focus on quacks, who are not registered with any council but are practising medicine.”

Earlier there were only individual doctors and entities like corporate and charitable hospitals or health care institutions did not exist. There is no provision in the MMC Act to keep a tab on them.

Source : http://punemirror.indiatimes.com/pune/civic/medical-council-asks-for-greater-powers/articleshow/62730873.cms

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