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‘Cheating’ Doctors Lose Out On Credit

21 February 2012
By Devidas Deshpande

Docs are showing up for pharmaceutical company junkets to earn extra credit hours and renew their registration. Medical council will review this exercise

The Maharashtra Medical Council (MMC) has to retract one of its orders after it found out that many doctors hoodwinked the system in order to renew their registration. One of the Council’s exercises is to be reviewed next month because of the devious means used by medical practitioners.

As per the Union Government’s notification, a physician must participate in professional meetings as part of Continuing Medical Education Programmes (CMEP), for at least 30 hours every five years.

These programmes should be organised by reputed professional academic bodies or any other authorised organisations. After considering this directive, the MMC has formulated guidelines and accredited organisations so that the certificates issued by them can be taken as valid.

The medical practitioners attending training courses and conferences were to be awarded credit hours which would enable them to renew their registration with the Indian Medical Council (IMC).

‘Cheating’ Doctors Lose Out On Credit

The system was introduced so that doctors could regularly update themselves or engage in research work. However, it soon became a sort of joke with doctors attending the conferences nominally, sometimes with sponsorship from pharmaceutical companies. This forced the MMC to shrink the list of accredited institutions to hospitals and medical colleges only.

Dr Sanjay Gupte of Gupte Hospital and a member of the MMC panel, told Pune Mirror, “In Mumbai, there were instances where doctors were found misusing the system. Hence, we have cancelled the credit hours in a couple of cases.

This is the first time that the mandatory refresher course has been introduced in the country and Maharashtra has shown some of the best results in this regard. However, such cases show there are loopholes and we will try to plug these within a month.”

Dr Sandeep Salvi, head of the Chest Research Foundation, which has conducted five to six CMEPs since January when MMC issued the orders to avail credit hours, said, “There were instances when physicians attended programmes intended for surgeons or just showed up at the venue, whiled their time away and claimed the credit hours. After complaints were filed, MMC decided to curtail the list of accredited institutions.”

The Institutions

In Pune, a number of institutions are given accredition for the training and conferences under CMEP by MMC. These include Aditya Birla Memorial Hospital, Armed Forces Medical College, Bharati Vidyapeeth Deemed University Medical College, Deenanath Mangeshkar Hospital & Research Centre and Jehangir Hospital among others.

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