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Doctors told to reskill or bow out

The Karnataka Medical Council (KMC) has thrown a dare at doctors in the state by making credit points accumulated by attending workshops and stethoscope1seminars a must for licence renewal.

This follows a recent directive by the Medical Council of India (MCI) as part of its continuing medical education (CME) programme.

As per the KMC decision, doctors have to collect 30 points by 2016 to get their licences renewed. Doctors also have to re-apply for their licences every five years. After 2016, the requirement is for six points annually with each seminar fetching half a point. There are extra points for being a speaker at a workshop as well.

Piloted in Maharashtra¬†The MCI had kick-started the programme in Maharashtra some years ago. Subsequently, it’s being rolled out across the country by state medical councils. Speaking to Bangalore Mirror, KMC president H Veerabhadrappa said, “Recently, the order came from MCI that doctors practising across the state have to compulsorily be a part of the CME programme. We have notified most doctors about it. We will have a monitoring authority to ensure that doctors meet the required criteria. Only then will their licences be renewed.”

While many doctors welcome the move, a few renowned surgeons are struggling to make time and garner these points. Dr Vivek Jawali, Chief Cardiologist at Fortis Hospitals, said: “Because of the exponential medical advancement all over the world, there is a need for re-certification of doctors. This is prevalent in the West, but took some time to come to India. These programmes must be compulsorily recognised by the Karnataka Medical Council. Sometimes some small-time CME providers may not get recognised even though they maintain good quality, and instead a CME organised by the State could get recognition. Though it will take some time for the programme to be streamlined, it is nevertheless a welcome move.”

Only accredited providers Workshop and seminar providers have to be accredited by KMC. The norms for the accreditation are being put in place. Specialist associations of medical practitioners as well as medical college hospitals can get themselves accredited, Veerabhadrappa said. Private hospitals can conduct CME programmes by teaming up with some accredited body. Pharma companies, however, are barred from getting accredited as CME providers, according to the KMC president. Some hospitals are trying to organise CME programmes in-house so that doctors do not have to resort to last-minute dashes to accumulate points.

Dr Sanjay Pai, chief orthopaedic surgeon at Apollo Hospitals, said: “There is a need to keep in touch with medical advancements worldwide. There are clear-cut guidelines on the organisation of these CMEs. For example, it should not be sponsored by a company and there has to be a bunch of recognised speakers. We need to use the programme effectively as there is constant need for upgradation in medical profession.”

Dr C N Manjunath of Sri Jayadeva Institute of Cardiology says that even though these workshops were being held earlier at regular intervals, there is now going to be a process in place to organise them.

Source: Bangalore Mirror