The complaint was filed by Emergency Medicine Association, an organisation of specialists in the discipline, based on information provided to it by the state council after an application filed under the right to information. The association’s complaint has also raised the question about such registrations being allowed in other state councils.
The degrees these doctors hold are from Sree Ramachandra Medical College and Research Institute and Vinayaka Mission Medical College. These colleges got letters of permission (LoPs) for a postgraduate course in emergency medicine with two seats each in 2013 and 2012 respectively.
Thus, there cannot be a recognised post graduate degree in this discipline from these colleges before 2015 and 2016. Yet 48 of the post graduate degrees registered were from before 2015, of which 20 are from before 2009, the year when emergency medicine was first recognized as a post graduate specialty in India by MCI.
Unrecognised degrees were registered in last quarter of 2017
MCI president Dr Jayshree Mehta told TOI that the complaint had been referred to the relevant section for scrutiny and verification before deciding the further course of action. TNMC vice-president Dr R V S Surendran confirmed that only MCI-recognised degrees could be registered and added that they were looking into the matter. “These registrations happened long ago and we do not allow this anymore,” he added. However, all 48 unrecognised degrees have been registered in October, November and December 2017.
The list of 48 included several office bearers of the Society for Emergency Medicine in India (SEMI), an organisation that was running an unrecogniaed masters in emergency medicine programme. SEMI had said that it was merely a certificate programme that made no claims to being a post-graduate degree or to being recognised by MCI. SEMI’s board is dominated by doctors without MCI-recognised post graduate emergency medicine degrees.
Senior faculty members teaching emergency medicine asked what the sanctity of a regulated system of medical education would be if unrecognised degrees were being registered in state councils.
They pointed out that hospitals employed specialists with registered degrees as they trusted the system of registration.