Published on: December 28, 2015

Some things catch public attention easily. Many important things do not – because their impact would be rather subtle though serious and far-reaching. For example, the recent changes in the Indo-US understanding about patent laws have steeply increased costs of medicines in India and they threaten to become costlier yet. Similarly, the reduction in health budget (already one of the lowest in the world, in terms of percentage of GDP – at about 1.12%) by 15% in 2015 threatens to have a long lasting adverse effect on public health in India.

Here is another subtle one. The Medical Council of India (MCI), the apex regulatory body of the medical profession with statutory powers, has decided not to make public any of its Ethics Committee decisions. The Ethics Committee minutes used to be uploaded on the Council’s website, but that practice has ceased since October 2013, when the current MCI administration took charge. The Council, in a reply to “People for Better Treatment” application under the Right to Information Act, said that it “no longer maintains consolidated minutes of Ethics Committee”.

Even in our courts, all proceedings are available to the public!

Comments are closed.