1,700 doctors with PG Diploma from IGNOU can’t practice Cardiology, MCI refuses to recognize their degrees

The two-year course was started in 2006 to train doctors as Cardiologists in 70 hospitals all over the country. From 2006 to 2012, nearly 1,700 doctors opted for the course. The university stopped fresh enrolment in the year 2013 after the Medical Council of India (MCI) refused to grant a license to students pursuing it.

Some doctors who had earlier taken the course approached the Delhi High Court. In September, the court asked the Union Health Ministry to opine in the matter.

The MCI-Board of Governors also concluded that these doctors cannot be allowed to work as Cardiologists.

Reason Given: Evaluation of the training program was not done within one year of starting it according to the Indian Medical Act, 1956 rules.

My Comments

MCI Ethics Regulation: 1.4.2 Physicians shall display as suffix to their names only recognized medical degrees or such certificates/diplomas and memberships/honours which confer professional knowledge or recognizes any exemplary qualification/achievements.

Under clause 1.4.2 there should be no reason not to write about their diploma on their letterhead along with the name of IGNOU. It will still be IGNOU-certified and not MCI-certified.

The clause 1.4.2 does not stop people from doing non-MCI diploma or take certificates. It gives options of only recognized medical degrees or such certificates/diplomas. MCI itself has no Diploma or a certificate course in Cardiology, so other certificate and diplomas courses will invariably be started by institutions.  The MCI clause 7.20 should not be read in isolation but read with 1.4.2.

7.20 A Physician shall not claim to be specialist unless he has a special qualification in that branch.

Also, the reason given by MCI is technical and not on merit.

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