The Manipur Medical Council becoming functional after two years of its inception is welcome news. Though the nod to the Manipur Medical Council Act was given by the president of India in 2012, it has taken two years for the institution to become serviceable. The MMC Act empowers the Council with a wide ranging power and functions. It is a statutory body whose functioning is almost like the Medical Council of India. The only difference would be in their reach: MMC has its jurisdiction limited to the state whereas MCI has its jurisdiction over the whole country. Much like the MCI, MMC`™s primary business is to set standard of medical practice in the state. Maintaining live register of medical practitioners is one of the means to that end. In absence of a medical council of the state, medical practitioner had to rely on other state medical councils like the Assam Medical Council. From now on medical degree holders will no longer undergo the hassle of registering outside the state. As reported, MMC has constituted four committees namely `“ Public Relation Committee, Prevention of Quackery Committee, Accreditation of Continuing Medical Education Committee and Medical Ethics Committee. We believe, of all the committees, the Public Relation Committee has a more challenging task ahead. It is common knowledge that there have been ugly incidents of patient-party turning violent against doctors for their alleged negligence or misconduct while discharging their duties. The most recent publicised incident took place at Raj Medicity, a private clinic located at North AOC, Imphal. In that incident the patient-party went berserk following the unfortunate demise of a patient who underwent surgery in the private clinic. In such cases there are always indications of communication gap or miscommunication between the patient-party and the hospital authorities. This is despite the fact that private clinics maintain a certain level of public relation unlike the government hospitals. One can guess what would be the scenario in government hospitals where public relation efforts are almost non-existent. One can hasten to point out that such situations occur even though public relation officers are duly appointed in these hospitals. The Regional Institute of Medical Sciences in Imphal is one government hospital in which there have been numerous reports of unwanted incidents taking place mainly because of the lack of public relation effort in the right way, at the right time. Another issue that has to come under the scanner of MMC is that of doctors serving in more than one hospital at a time. It has been a contention that government medical practitioners are not able to give needed time to their patients in the hospitals in their haste to make themselves available in private clinics as well. Needless to say, this kind of practice is blatantly against the ethical code of the noble profession. It is against the service conditions of a government servant; so far the state government has been blind to this widespread conduct. The newly instituted MMC has given hope that it will pay attention to grievances of the public against misconduct or negligence of medical practitioners, and that it shall act against such instances. It is, however, important to note that prerogative of the MMC is binding only to those practitioners who are registered under it. As the institution is in its initial stage most of the medical practitioners at present are beyond its purview. We hope the MMC will grow into a mature institute in the days to come, and set healthy standard of the medical profession and its practice in the state.
Leader Writer: Senate Kh