Renewal in Only a Few States

When it is clear that the IMC Act does not provide for renewal of registration, or for its linkage with CME credits, why are some state medical councils insisting on renewals with mandatory CME Credit hours? If TCMC, that tried to enforce renewals on the basis of certain resolutions, had to withdraw following the writs filed by the QPMPA [See], how can the medical councils of other states enforce renewals?

While majority of the state governments, including Kerala, as well as the Central Govt., have not endorsed the idea of the MCI regarding renewal and mandatory CME, and have not agreed to amend the respective Medical Council/Registration Acts so far, a few states like Karnataka, Maharashtra, Himachal Pradesh, Punjab and very recently, Assam have enacted such amendments. The medical councils of some of these states have now started the process of renewal.

imcsec27But this leads to a precarious situation. As per Section 27 of the Indian Medical Council Act, 1956, every person whose name is borne on the Indian Medical Register shall be entitled according to his qualifications to practice as a medical practitioner in any part of India. Therefore, the requirement of only a few state medical councils to renew the registration would adversely affect the interests of their medical practitioners. While a medical practitioner who is registered in a state council that does not mandate renewal can continue to practice, not only in that state but in any state or Union Territory of India, a practitioner who is registered in a state that mandates renewal every 3-5 years cannot continue to practice, not only in his state of registration, but anywhere else in the country.

MCI, in its reply to our RTI queries, has replied that the MCI regulations are silent with regard to renewal of registration with the state medical councils, but has added the following rider: “However, the State Medical Register is maintained by the State Medical Council which are established under an Act of Legislature and if such conditions of renewal of registration is prescribed therein it “. [See the reply here]

Health being a state subject, the state governments are well within their rights to amend the medical registration acts. However, as of now, the central IMC Act and MR Acts of most states and UTs remain unamended with regard to renewal and CME Credits. Therefore, the stand of the MCI, as expressed in its reply, will be applicable only to a minuscule minority of states, and that would be detrimental to the interests of the medical practitioners in those states.

It is therefore important for the medical practitioners of such states to demand and enforce the roll-back/suspension of such amendments in the state medical council acts until such time that the Indian Medical Council Act is amended accordingly and all states have similar requirements for renewal of registration.