RTI Queries to KMC, Apr 2014

RTIIn early 2014, when the Karnataka Medical Council started spreading messages regarding renewal of registrations with CME Credits, we filed our queries under the Right to Information Act, 2005 to the Medical Council of India as well as the Karnataka Medical Council on February 5, 2014. Here below are the questions:

Questions:

  1. Is it mandatory to renew the registration with the State Medical Council?
  2. If yes, under what provisions of the Medical Council of India Act/Regulations etc., has it been made so and please provide a copy of the same.
  3. Is it mandatory to obtain CME Credit hours for renewal of registration?
  4. If yes, under what provisions of the Medical Council of India Act/Regulations etc., has it been made so and please provide a copy of the same.
  5. Are there any guidelines/orders issued by the Medial Council of India regarding the activities that qualify for obtaining CME Credits? If yes, please provide a copy of the same.
  6. Are there any guidelines/orders issued by the Medial Council of India regarding the accreditation/verification of CME programmes/Conferences and such other activities that provide CME Credits? If yes, please provide a copy of the same.
  7. Are there any guidelines/orders issued by the Medial Council of India regarding the fee/TA/DA, accommodation etc., that have to be provided to the officials who verify/inspect/accredit such CME Credit providing events? If yes, please provide a copy of the same.

The answers from Karnataka Medical Council, dated Mar 10, 2014, are given below.

Answer for Q 1,2,3:

The MCI has not framed any rules for renewal of registration. The Karnataka State Medical Council being a statutory body has passed resolution and made it mandatory for all registered medical practitioners to renew their registration once in 5 years with 30 credit hours/5 years. This will help the practitioners to upgrade their knowledge & gain academic excellence. [Emphasis added; Copy of such resolution has not been provided]

Answer for Q 4:

A letter with Vide ref: No: MCI – Academics/2013/30661 dated 29/08/2013 has been enclosed which specifies a uniform guidelines recommending allotment of credit hours for doctors attending a Conference / CME / Workshop. [Comment: The referred letter was not enclosed initially; it was sent to us only after repeated requests; See below]

Answer for Q 5:

The above mentioned letter itself specifies that conference/ CME programme /Workshop qualify for obtaining CME credit hours.

Answer for Q 6 & 7:

There are no guidelines / orders issued by MCI regarding verification of CME /Conference, regarding TA / DA / fee etc. KMC being a statutory body has passed resolution regarding verification of CME / Conference by appointing a CME observer duty to be mandatory. The KMC also gives instructions to the organizers to provide TA /DA accommodation to the CME observers as per actual. [Comment: Copy of the resolution has been received by us on June 4, 2014 after 2 appeals [See]; we sent the first appeal to the Chief Information Officer, KMC, for a copy of this resolution/minutes of the meeting on 9th April, 2014 and filed our second appeal on May 23rd, 2014]

Thus, according to KMC, neither renewal, nor its linkage to CME credits nor the process of CME accreditation, its inspection and the special privileges of the so called CME inspectors, have any sanction under any section of the MCI Act.

MCI also, in its reply, stated that the Indian Medical Council Act is silent on renewal, its linkage to CME credits, CME accreditation, its inspection and the special privileges of the so called CME inspectors. The reply is here.

The reply from KMC did not provide us any convincing reasons for renewal tagged to CME Credits. To probe further, we, on our own, obtained the copy of the letter referred in the reply by KMC, namely MCI – Academics/2013/30661 dated 29/08/2013, from the KMC web site itself.

The letter states as follows:

“The members of the academic council noted that there is no uniformity in the credit hours awarded by the different state medical councils….
The academic council recommended that for a medical college teacher attending Conference/CME/Workshop of minimum 08 hours duration/day, the credit hours to be awarded are as under:

03 credit hours/day/speaker
02 credit hours/day/participant” (emphasis added)

It is very obvious that this letter is about awarding CME Credits to a medical college teacher attending Conference/CME/Workshop. This letter says nothing about medical professionals in general nor does it have any mention of renewals, mandatory CME credit for renewals etc. This letter also does not provide any details of creditable CME activities other than Conference/CME/Workshop for medical college teachers. It is therefore very strange that the KMC is citing this letter as the basis for making CME Credits mandatory for renewals.

All these make it very clear that Karnataka Medical Council has no legal basis for renewal, for CME Credits or for inspecting and accredeting CME programmes.