The Medical Council of India (MCI) has weakened in recent years because of “vested interests that are engaged in a struggle for its control,” Governor H R Bhardwaj said here Monday.
“The Council is not functioning properly. I saw the struggle for control when I was in the Union Cabinet in 2009. Even now, the struggle is going on and it is not consistent with the traditions of the medical profession,” Bhardwaj said in his inaugural address at the third Conclave of Vice-Chancellors of Health Universities of India.
Bhardwaj, who is also the Chancellor of State universities, lamented that there is no consistency in healthcare programmes.
“The medical profession should be encouraged to serve the lowest sections of the society, but there is no initiative from governments. There has been no substantial contribution. We have not fulfilled the promise of our founding fathers in providing affordable healthcare,” he rued.
He also expressed displeasure about attempts by the state governments to exert greater control over health universities, which he termed “an unhealthy practice”.
He suggested a model where medical professionals themselves are in control of institutions that are involved in public service.
“A body of Vice-Chancellors should discuss on how you can break free from the management of the Medical Council,” he observed.
‘I’m a Patient As Well’
Stressing on the need to make healthcare affordable, Governor H R Bhardwaj said, “I am a patient and I know that healthcare is very expensive, especially (in) urban (areas). It has to be subsidised. Concepts such as Unani, Ayush and traditional medicine should be incorporated to make healthcare cheaper,” he said. Bhardwaj calling himself ‘a patient’ comes a couple of months after he referred to Jnanpith award winner U R Ananthamurthy as “a sick person who is on dialysis”.