The Maharashtra Medical Council (MMC) sent a notice to a medical officer who drew a salary of Rs 11 lakh in a period of 13 months while practising with an expired licence on May 31. mid-day had reported how an RTI query by activist Chetan Kothari had brought the doctor’s practice to light, and that she was even promoted without a proper check of her documents. MMC has asked her to submit all required documents to prove her innocence.
In April, mid-day had reported how Dr Premlata Kashinath Patne, a medical officer with VN Desai Hospital, Santacruz, didn’t renew her licence for over a month and withdrew the salary in violation of the rules of Medical Council of India (MCI).
The notice says
“You are directed to submit to this office your detailed parawise remarks, in two sets on the above mentioned complaint with proof, if any, within a week from the date of receipt of the letter, failing which, an action as per section 22 of MMC Act, 1965 will be initiated against you,” reads the notice. It further directs her to submit a copy of her registration certificate to the council.
“I have requested Maharashtra State Aids Control Society (MSACS) and hospital authorities to register an FIR (and also cancel her promotion and recover the salary of Rs 11 lakh). If they fail to do so, then I will register an FIR with police. I will also complain to higher authorities about their inaction,” said Kothari.
Renewal of registration
As per the rules of Medical Council of India (MCI), doctors across the country need to renew their registration every five years to be able to practice in any state. Doctors must earn 30 credit hours by attending ‘recognised’ conferences or by publishing books to renew their registration. Medical practitioners who fail to do so will lose their registration.
Despite this, Dr Patne who was supposed to renew her licence on June 15, 2015, renewed it only on August 1, 2016. If that was not enough, though she was not qualified to practice in any hospital with the expired registration, she continued working as a medical officer and drew the salary.
“If a medical practitioner doesn’t renew the registration, it lapses and expires after certain time frame. The practitioner is removed from the database of the Indian Medical Register. Following this he/she loses the right to practice. And if the person doesn’t renew the registration, he/she is not authorised to sign any official medical papers,” said a senior officer of the MMC. Patne’s registration was done on May 13, 2010, but the second renewal was delayed by 13 months.
“When a doctor’s registration gets over and he/she doesn’t renew it, the person cannot draw a salary. We excuse a delay of 1-2 months but a delay of 13 months is too much,” said the officer from MMC. Repeated attempts to speak to Dr Patne did not yield a response.