MCI board term extended

MCI board term extended

Ordinance to be placed before Cabinet today

The Union Health Ministry is all set to bring a fresh ordinance for extending the tenure of the board of governors of the Medical Council of India (MCI) till November 14.

The ordinance will be placed before the Union Cabinet on Friday to legalise the tenure of seven-member board between May 14 and November 14, sources told Deccan Herald. The new ordinance will have retrospective effect.

Approving the ordinance will not only give a breather to the current MCI board of governors, as the Health Ministry hopes to complete the election process by November, it would also allow an elected council to take over from the MCI board when the board of governor’s term expires.

The board is currently headed by R K Srivastava, former director-general of health services in the Central government.

The fresh ordinance became necessary as the government could not pass the Indian Medical Council (Amendment) bill, 2013 in the monsoon session. Had it been passed, the bill would have replaced a previous ordinance and paved the way for the council’s re-creation.

Due to a Parliamentary provision, validity of the previous ordinance—and consequently the term of the board—expired on September 16. As on Thursday, there is no MCI board of governors, sources told Deccan Herald. The proposed ordinance seeks to rectify the situation.

The process to elect the 125 members of the MCI has been initiated at the state level. Once elected the members will choose the president, vice-president and a 12 member executive body, which will run the apex medical regulator on a day to day basis.

There will be 28 members from the states, one from a union territory, 40 from universities, 26 from health universities, 22 from state medical councils and 8 central government nominees.

But the council does not require its full strength of 125 members in order for its formation. “The council can be formed even with 45 members,” said a source.

The amendment bill, introduced in the Rajya Sabha in August, would empower the Central government with legal authority to intervene in matters of corruption and policies on medical education, after the MCI is recreated.

A section of the Left parties and BJP, however, have moved amendments against the bill.
The new bill was drafted after the Central government's plan to replace the scam-tainted MCI with a National Commission for Human Resources on Health came to a nought after three years of efforts.

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