Fighting to get corruption-accused Gujarat urologist removed from apex Medical Council of India for long, NRI doctor urges immediate government action
Pankaj Kumar | October 31, 2013
Days after Ketan Desai, the disgraced former president of the Medical Council of India (MCI) was elected by Gujarat University to represent the state in the MCI, NRI doctor Kunal Saha, a relentless fighter against corruption in medical education and medical practices for over a decade, has asked the health ministry to take note of this “great travesty”.
In a letter sent to principal secretary, ministry of health and family welfare, Dr Saha wrote: “The sordid saga of Dr. Desai since his arrest in 2010 has greatly eroded public trust on doctors and entire healthcare delivery system. Election/nomination of Dr. Desai to MCI while he is still facing criminal charges and his license to practice medicine still suspended with a complete ban to represent in any medical council is clearly “detrimental in public interest” and it clearly violates Section 30-A(2g) of “Ordinance 2013”.
“As such, government must take necessary measures to remove Dr. Desai immediately from his recent election/nomination as a new MCI member from GU.”
READ: Desai has no licence to practice, but set to head MCI again!
Last week, the supreme court ordered Kolkata’s renowned AMRI hospital to pay Dr Saha Rs 5.96 crore in compensation for medical negligence that led to his wife Anuradha’s death in 1998. This is the biggest compensation the supreme court has ever ordered in a case of medical negligence.
In 2010, Dr Saha had written to the Medical Council of India to cancel Ketan Desai’s licence. While he succeeded in his mission, the Gujarat government later reinstated Desai – a move the Indian-American doctor had challenged in court.
Dr Saha has written letter to the secretary of Health ministry to stop him to come to power as he is a charge-sheeted person and cases are pending against him.
We reproduce Dr Saha’s letter to the health ministry here. Please see the pdf files of MCI’s suspension order passed against Ketan Desai in October 2010, and the government’s amendment to the MCI Act in May this year:
People for Better Treatment (PBT)
Registered society fighting for a better healthcare system
(Regd. No. S/IL/6017 of 2001-2002)
President: Dr. Kunal Saha Secretary: Mr. Malay Ganguly
2704 Bridgewatch Lane 1, Indra Roy Road (1st Fl, Room 9)
Columbus, OH 43026, USA Opp. Indira Cinema
Tel: 001-614-893-6772 Kolkata 700025, INDIA
Email: email@example.com Tel: 9831983670/9836706952
October 30, 2013
Ministry of Health & Family Welfare
Nirman Bhavn, Maulana Azad Road
New Delhi 110011
(also via fax/email)
I’m writing this letter seeking your kind and urgent intervention to a great travesty which is happening right now in states across India with the ongoing process of election/nomination of members for the next Medical Council of India (MCI) under Indian Medical Council (Amendment) Ordinance, 2013 (“Ordinance 2013”). It is reported that Dr. Ketan Desai, ex-MCI president who was removed from MCI after being arrested by CBI allegedly for taking bribe from a private medical college in 2010, was unanimously nominated under “Ordinance 2013” by Gujarat University (GU) Senate to become a member of MCI on Sunday (October 27, 2013). This is for your information that MCI previously suspended Dr. Desai’s medical license indefinitely on October 9, 2010 for professional misconduct in response to my complaint/appeal to the MCI for violation of Code of Medical Ethics. While suspending Dr. Desai’s license, MCI also made specific observation:
“In view of the grave and serious allegations against you (Dr. Desai) having prima facie merit in the same, permission granted to you to practice medicine be suspended during the pendency of appeal/complaint with the Board of Governors in Supersession of Medical Council of India which would necessarily mean and include that you are debarred from practicing medicine and practicing as a doctor in a medical conference anywhere and representing doctors in any medical council, conference and association etc.”
A copy of the said Order passed by MCI dated October 9, 2010 is also attached for your reference. Dr. Desai’s license still remains suspended by MCI.
Dr. Desai is presently out on bail waiting for his criminal trial to start. In view of the categorical order passed by MCI as indicated above, Dr. Desai is not eligible to be a MCI member to represent doctors in the central medical council until he is exonerated from all charges and MCI reverses its order dated October 9, 2010. Furthermore, a new amendment has been added in the “Ordinance 2013” (Item no. 11, page 4) under Section 30-A(2g) of Indian Medical Council Act, 1956 which has also stipulated that government must remove any MCI member “if his continuance in office would be detrimental in public interest”. A copy of “Ordinance 2013” is also attached for your reference.
The sordid saga of Dr. Desai since his arrest in 2010 has greatly eroded public trust on doctors and entire healthcare delivery system. Election/nomination of Dr. Desai to MCI while he is still facing criminal charges and his license to practice medicine still suspended with a complete ban to represent in any medical council is clearly “detrimental in public interest” and it clearly violates Section 30-A(2g) of “Ordinance 2013”. As such, government must take necessary measures to remove Dr. Desai immediately from his recent election/nomination as a new MCI member from GU. Considering the serious nature of the present situation as narrated hereinabove, I would be compelled to take appropriate legal action to stop this sheer travesty with the election/nomination of Dr. Desai to MCI unless you take necessary corrective measures to remove him from the list of elected/nominated MCI members within the next seven days. Please feel free to contact me at the numbers below or contact PBT head-office in Kolkata if you have any questions or concerns in this matter. Look forward to hearing from you. Thank you.
Kunal Saha, MD, PhD
Professor & Consultant
c.c.: 1) Hon’ble Prime Minister; 2) Hon’ble Minister of Health; 2) Hon’ble President
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