Further confusion - Is MCI the authority to approve a foreign therapy / procedure?

  • Posted on: September 22, 2017

In a one-of-a-kind case, a doctor from Pune was fined for performing a procedure on the ground that it needs an approval from Medical Council of India (MCI).

Dr. Bagul had advertised in a Marathi newspaper that he could perform limb reconstruction through a Russian technique known as Illizarov. Narayan, a patient who had suffered compound fracture, saw the ad and approached the doctor with a hope that he could walk again without limping. The doctor performed Illizarov procedure but the patient did not get any relief. His condition remained as it was before the procedure.

His limping didn’t deter the patient from dragging Dr. Bagul to State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission, Maharashtra. It was alleged that the doctor falsely promised a cure through the Illizarov technique. He produced relevant documents and medical records to prove his case.

The doctor on the other hand tried his best to defend his decision. It was stated that before the patient approached him, a surgery had been performed that resulted in a 28mm gap in his leg. Moreover, the steel plate that was inserted during that surgery was the main cause of him not recovering even after the Illizarov method. I did the best I could, pleaded the doctor.

Perhaps he did, but the doctor’s intention was not on Commission’s priority list. Rather, the Commission noted that Dr. Bagul did not have a certificate from MCI to perform a foreign procedure, and hence held him negligent for same. While offering the doctor to compensate the patient, the Commission reprimanded him by stating that “publishing an advertisement in a newspaper, the prospective consumer cannot be misled into belief of curing the ailment by means of a foreign procedure, which in fact was not approved by MCI”.

The moot question - Is MCI the authority to approve a procedure / therapy in India? Perhaps not, say legal experts.

Source: Order pronounced by State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission, Maharashtra on 22nd September, 2017