Taipei Taiwan: Indeed a historical moment of which every Indian would feel proud was when Dr Ketan Desai took over the reins of World Medical Association as its President at 10 am on Friday 21st October 2016 at Hotel Grand Hyatt to a thundering applause by the world professional fraternity.
It was a diligent recognition which came way of an illustrious leader who always with passion rendered himself to the cause of medical profession and medical education alike.
His initiatives on several counts got converted into policy frame and have catered to the public interest in a very substantial manner.
Be it National entrance examination test, doctor-pharma relationship, enforceable punishment on those who were committing frauds and misrepresentations and rationalizing minimum standards requirements facilitating development of medical schools in the country, he was the torch bearer and the front runner as well.
It was under his initiative that the Government run medical schools in the country were granted a onetime increase in post graduate seats without any onsite verification exclusively based on furnishing of information by increasing the permissible ratio of registered students against a professor post graduate teacher to 1:2. This in one stroke resulted in an increase of well over 2500 post graduate seats in the Government colleges in the country which were and are open and available for meritorious students within their affordable reach.
His stint as President MCI for two terms is known for his steering roles in shaping the face, facet and future of medical education in the country. It was his initiative to put into place competency based post graduate curriculum and also structure out National faculty development program for the full time teaching faculty in medical schools.
It was under his guidance that the National faculty development program resulted in training and orienting full time medical teachers in medical colleges across the country numbering now to well over 30,000 which makes the MCI as the only regulator of medical education to have taken the onus of such a program on its shoulders in an exemplary and emulative manner.
The efforts initiated by him in the Year 2009 to bring transparency in the process of medical admissions ensuring that merit alone turns out to be the sole criteria for admission to the medical courses in the country that the NEET was conceived and structured which ultimately saw the light of the day as an operational reality in the academic year 2016-17 setting to rest all the speculations that came to be raised on the very issue from time to time.
His ascendancy to the highest office of presidency of World Medical Education is neither an accident nor a conjuncture. IMA is an integral part of WMA and is recognized as a valuable member and a partner because of the significant role it has played on wide and varied issues pertaining to medical professionals within and outside the country.
The inputs furnished by IMA on the various issues at the WMA forum have not only been well appreciated but also have resulted in shaping its global perceptive on vital issues pertaining to the medical education, health care delivery systems and practicing of the profession judiciously and ethically.
In his speech Dr Desai rightly evoked the core issue of professional autonomy which in countries like Turkey, UK and India is under threat of subjugation and marginalization as well. This in his opinion was inconsistent with the well set out democratic norms which mandate participative decision making in an accountable manner. Such attempts for whatever reasons and from which ever quarter need to be dealt by an iron hand.
His observations on this count evoked huge cheers from the professional fraternity around the globe present at the installation ceremony.
He equally emphasized the need of making the world terror free. He observed that be it bruised Brussels, traumatized Paris, school children bombarded in Pakistan or deeply injured Uri all are slur in the name of humanity. Terrorism neither has a color, religion, caste or a creed. It is only terrorism alone. There is nothing like good or bad terrorism. In reality it dehumanizes mankind and traumatizes humanity. It has to be abandoned at all costs in the interest of bringing peace and tranquility to this planet in order to make it worthy of living for all times to come.
He strongly brought to fore the ill tendency of resorting to kickbacks for various reasons by the health professionals which on every count is unbecoming on their part. Profession has to be practiced within the tenets of ethicality, morality and judiciousness its sanctity is paramount and needs to be upheld at all costs and independent of consequence.
In the same breath he also emphasized that there is an urgent necessity to protect the health professional from unprovoked assaults and hurts on any and every count. They need to be accorded required protection and desired insulation.
He categorically stated that those professional who trespass ethical conduct and take recourse to the sex determination resulting in female feticide should be dealt by the penalty of permanent removal of their names from the medical register and delisting them from practicing the profession for life.
It is such deterrent measures alone which in his opinion could set the otherwise disturbed house in order.
Bringing to fore the importance of Yoga he recorded his appreciation gratitude to Sh Narendra Modi the Honorable Prime Minister of India for bringing Yoga, a parasympathetic lifestyle, on the global platform as a result of which 21st June has been declared as the World Yoga day by united national organization.
It is only Yogic approach which could be the most cost effective modality for putting into place the preventive and promotive aspects of global health in an affordable and handy manner.
His suggestion to the global partners under the umbrella of WMA to the effect that time has come where by a serious thought is necessary to structure out a world health keeping force on the lines on which world peace keeping force came to be created.
National Medical Associations across the world that have substantial and huge professional memberships can substantially contribute towards actualization of these perceived realistic needs. This suggestion was very well received by all present there.