Medical Council blamed for corrupt healthcare system

Medical Council blamed for corrupt healthcare system

Medical Council blamed for corrupt healthcare system
An Australian doctor, who exposed corruption in Indian healthcare last year, has blamed the Medical Council of India (MCI) for continuing with poor regulatory norms that failed to curb corrupt practices in the medical sector.

“The MCI is not doing its work. There is lack of regulatory oversight and if needed, MCI should be sidelined. Honest doctors must be involved in medical regulations,” said David Berger, a Swiss-origin doctor, currently practising in Australia. In an article in the British Medical Journal in 2014, Berger not only documented how kickbacks and corrupt practices are ruining the doctor-patient relationship in India.

Berger wrote about his experience of spending several months at a clinic in Landour near Mussourie in Uttarakhand. “India’s doctors and medical institutions live in an unvirtuous circle of referral and kickback that poisons their integrity and destroys any chance of a trusting relationship with their patients,” he said.

“There is a big under-current of doctor-shopping in India due to lack of trust as there is huge concerns among the patient community,” Berger said on Monday.

He was in the capital for a day during which he met a section of doctors in Sir Ganga Ram Hospital here and gave a talk on ethical behaviour of doctors.

Senior Indian doctors, who advocated for transparency and ethical practices in the medical sector for a long time, felt only stringent punishment could deter erring doctors.

“India has both major and minor medical corruption. It happened due to the absence of stringent punishment,” said Samiran Nundy, dean of Ganga Ram Institute for Postgraduate Medical Education and Research here.
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