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Apr 28
Diamonds dazzle in Ketan Desai's locker
"Save our profession from acquiring a tainted image," doctors exclaim.

Rage against Dr Ketan Desai, head of the Medical Council of India who was caught for allegedly accepting a bribe of Rs2 crore, is growing all over the country.

A nation-wide signature campaign has been initiated by the medical fraternity demanding the formation of a union to save "our profession from acquiring a tainted image due to MCI's amendments drafted by Desai which favour some pharmaceutical giants," reads the email, now being circulated, asking doctors to join the campaign. It urges them to "Join the cause, condemn MCI amendments' and 'demand a reversal'.

A doctor who is behind this campaign said, "About 3,000 doctors have joined us from all over the country."

After forming this union - which demands reversal of many dubious decisions that Desai undertook while heading the MCI - the members plan to hold demonstrations in front of the MCI offices calling for the removal of the name of Desai from the Indian Medical Register, till the inquiry in the present scam is over -- or forever if the charges are proved.

Some doctors from Gujarat have welcomed the step and said on condition of anonymity that this was long overdue.

Sources from a medical association said, "Many knew that he was corrupt, but no doctors or doctors' associations could earlier come forward to demand that he must be removed. The worst thing was that he not only headed the Gujarat and Indian Medical Councils, but was also a president of the World Medical Association - and these key positions he held for long time despite the fact that he was almost constantly under a cloud."

Many medicos also revealed that elections in MCI were never transparent. "Unless elections are made transparent, there is no hope for fairness," medical sources say. A doctor who has joined the signature campaign added: "The election procedure for MCI needs to be changed with immediate effect, otherwise there is no guarantee that the next head will not be corrupt." Sources behind the signature drive said that to make malpractices difficult, major changes in the rules and regulations of medical councils are required.

Meanwhile, the demand for the removal of Dr Ketan Desai as president of the MCI has evoked mixed response in the city, though the development has shocked and silenced the city's medical fraternity. Unable to digest or fathom the stunning revelations that have come to light after CBI's raid on Desai, the medicos are unable to clearly voice their reaction to the developments.

While many eminent medicos preferred to remain silent on the issue, calling it as 'sensitive', others heading various medical associations refrained to comment, saying they seldom have information on Desai's activities.

But the city's medical fraternity has by and large alienated itself from Desai, and there has been a tremendous condemnation flowing in from the entire medical fraternity of other states.

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