The Medical Council of India has announced a digitization initiative on Friday to bring more transparency and have regular checks on ghost faculties in medical colleges. Under the Digital Mission Mode Project (DMMP), the MCI will use a biometric system to not only expose ghost employees in institutions but will also monitor attendance of faculty members in 439 medical colleges. A Government-appointed panel led by Arvind Panagariya has passed a draft bill to create a National Medical Commission in place of MCI because of complaints of corruption and failure to perform tasks.
The monitoring of attendance of faculty through a biometric system involves a real-time medical register, issuing of IDs for which Rs 45 crore has been allocated as budget. The government has asked the body to finish the project within six months.
The panel has also decided to issue Electronic Radio Frequency Identification (ERFI) to doctors which will enable them to practice across the country after they get registered with MCI. Furthermore, the body clearly states that medical faculties can be a part of one medical college in the same academic year.
Since the time that MCI has decided to go online, the apex body has recommended state medical councils to order the immediate suspension of ghost faculties. The need to take this step came when two doctors were found acting as ghost medical faculties. Dr. Vijay Kumar Sharda of Government Medical College Patiala was working as ghost faculty for NC Medical College in Panipat, and Dr. Ved Prakash Gupta was acting as ghost member in Sri Guru Gobind Singh Tricentenary Medical College in Gurgaon.
Taking the direction of MCI, the Punjab Medical Council has also decided to remove the name of the faculties from the state medical register for six months. Once the project comes to action doctors will have documented proof of their registration at all times. It will also facilitate working of medical practitioners under ‘One Country One Registration.’
Further, the biometric-based network will provide information on the medical professionals on the website which shall enhance strict enforcement of the ethical code of conduct. After registration, details of the 9.5 lakh doctors will be available online, and the fake doctors will be eliminated.
Even though this is not the first time that ghost faculties has been revealed. But MCI claims that this project is the first of its kind to be implemented by the regulatory agency. Envisaged in 2009 it will bring the functioning of MCI to global standards comparable to any other country in the developed word.