Fourteen doctors from Punjab are under scrutiny of the Medical Council of India (MCI) for allegedly violating MCI norms on professional conduct by going on foreign junkets funded by a pharmaceutical company. Of these doctors, all private practitioners, six are from Muktsar, three each from Fazilka and Bathinda and one each from Abohar and SAS Nagar. They are prominent doctors in their respective cities.
Their trips were funded by Ahmedabad-based ERIS Life Sciences Private Limited and they mainly travelled to the US, Singapore and Europe. The company is engaged in manufacturing, marketing and selling branded generic drugs across the country.
Sources said the MCI, acting on a complaint, sent a communication (Hindustan Times has a copy) dated March 31 to the Punjab Medical Council, with which these doctors are registered.
In the communication, the MCI said it had received an anonymous complaint through the Union ministry of chemicals and fertilisers, department of pharmaceuticals.
The communication also said that about 12 of these doctors appeared before the MCI’s ethics committee at its various meetings and furnished their details. In the light of the submissions, the committee decided that the matter should be referred to the respective state medical council, where these doctors are registered, for conducting an investigation within three months — taking note of the violation under Clause 6.8 of the Indian Medical Council (Professional Conduct, Etiquette and Ethics) Regulations, 2002.
Clause 6.8 deals with professional association of doctors in their relationship with pharmaceutical and allied health sector industry. It prohibits any kind of favour extended to doctors from the health sector industry.
As per the communication, two of these doctors, Dr Bharat Bhushan Jindal (Jindal Hospital, Bathinda) and Dr MK Arora (SAS Nagar), who travelled to Europe, refused to appear before the MCI despite being given ample opportunities. The MCI’s ethics committee then decided to refer the matter of these doctors concerned to the state medical council concerned.
When contacted, Dr GS Grewal, president, PMC, confirmed receiving the communication from the MCI. “We will hold a fair investigation and nobody would be spared,” he said.
Who went where
Singapore: Dr SK Jindal, Jindal Heart and Chest Hospital, Muktsar; Dr Ashok Kamra, Kamra Hospital, Muktsar; Dr MM Bansal, Sri Guru Nanak Hospital, Muktsar; Dr Mukesh Bansal Usha Bansal Nursing Home, Muktsar; Dr Dinesh Goyal, Dinesh Hospital, Muktsar; Dr Balwinder Singh Madho Hospital, Muktsar; Dr Vijay Sachdeva, Sachdeva Hospital, Fazilka; Dr YP Jassi, Jassi Hospital and Heart Care Centre, Muktsar; Dr Navdeep Jasuja, Chandravati Hospital, Muktsar; and Dr Naveen Sethi, Naveen Heart and Chest Clinic, Abohar.
Europe: Dr Bharat Bhushan Jindal, Jindal Hospital, Bathinda; and Dr MK Arora, SAS Nagar
US: Dr KK Nohria, Nohria Nursing Home, Bathinda; and Dr Amit Taneja, Bathinda.