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NMC BILL NEEDS KEY CHANGES

Ramesh Shankar
Wednesday, January 10, 2018, 08:00 Hrs  [IST]

The National Medical Commission Bill, which proposes to replace the 61-year-old Medical Council of India as per the recommendations of Niti Aayog, has been tabled in Lok Sabha. The primary objective of the Bill is to set up a new and transparent system for regulating medical education and practice in the country in lieu of MCI which has been mired in controversies due to the allegations of rampant corruption. MCI also found to be unresponsive to health system needs and not able to take forward any serious reforms in the medical education system in the country. The government was also irked by the MCI’s chequered past, the arrest of its former president Dr. Ketan Desai on charges of corruption, and its temporary suspension. The Bill proposes to constitute a 64-member Medical Advisory Council, which will advise the Commission on measures to determine and maintain minimum standards in all matters relating to medical education, training and research. Besides, it will serve as the primary platform for all the states to put forward their views to the Commission. The Bill further proposes the formation of four autonomous Boards to look at different aspects of medical education such as undergraduate, postgraduate, medical assessment & rating, and medical registration.

Ever since the draft Bill was released by the government in August 2016, the medical fraternity in the country has been up in arms against several provisions in the Bill and has termed it as non-representative, undemocratic and anti-federal in character. What has angered the Indian Medical Association the most is a provision in the Bill by which there will be only five elected medical professionals in the 25-member National Medical Commission. The IMA rues that regulators need to have autonomy and be independent of the administrators. But the National Medical Commission will be a regulator appointed by the administrators under their direct control. Another major provision which has angered the IMA is the proposal to allow practitioners of Ayurveda and Homeopathy to enter the field of modern medicine after completing a 'bridge course'. Doctors view it as a retrograde step to provide back door entry to ISM doctors into medical profession which can lead to quackery. The medical fraternity also opposes the introduction of national licentiate examination which needs to be cleared by medical graduates to get licence to practice and enroll in Medical Registers. They plead it will be the first time such a provision is being introduced in any field of higher education in the country. Now that the Bill has been referred to the Parliamentary Standing Committee for further discussion, there should be a healthy discussion involving all the stakeholders to reach a meeting point. After all, the Bill has been formulated to create a world-class medical education system that ensures adequate supply of high quality medical professionals at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels in the country. The Bill needs to be formulated in such a way that it should end high handed bureaucratic grip over medical education institutions and shift towards outcome based monitoring. The ultimate objective of the whole exercise should be to bring reforms in the education sector which has been hit by corruption and unethical practices.

 

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pradeep awasthi Jan 13, 2018 5:45 PM
The most recent change which ibrought by Parliament is the formation of National medical commission which is has been substituted by years old Indian medical commission.Though the formation of NMC is a well come step for improving quality of medical education and to lock the most obligated and unethical medical system,But still there are several amendments in this new bill,which are strongly opposed by several medical practitioners across the country.

Infact the bill was never being appreciated by medical fraternity in its introductory phase in aug 2016,on account of several irrational changes pertaining to elected medical professionals in NMC and its regulations which solely governed by administrators.Its most striking changes such as inclusion of ayurveda and homeopathic practioners after completing bridge course has bee deemed as platform of quackery.Also the compulsion of National medical licentiate examination for issuing licence and registration for private pr
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