National Medical Commission Bill to Replace Medical Council of India (Download PDF)

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In a significant reform in the field of medical education sector, the National Medical Commission Act 2019 passed by both Houses of Parliament on 08th August 2019. There would be a constitution of four autonomous boards who will be accountable for conducting undergraduate and postgraduate education, assessment and accreditation of medical institutions and registration of practitioners under the National Medical Commission.

Image shows of National Medical Bill

Image Shows of National Medical Bill

Image shows of National Medical Bill

Background & Features

  • Under the Indian Medical Council Act, 1933, the Medical Council of India was established. This Act was abrogated and replaced with a new Act in 1956. As per the 1956 Act, the objectives of MCI include:

  • To maintain standards in medical education through curriculum guidelines, inspections and permissions to start colleges, courses or increasing number of seats.

  • Medical qualifications recognition.

  • Maintenance of the All India Medical Register including the registration of the Doctors.

  • Prescribing a code of conduct and taking action against erring doctors thereby regulating the medical profession.

  • The National Medical Commission will have government nominated chairman and members. Under the Cabinet Secretary, the board members will be selected by a search committee. Also there will be five elected and 12 ex-officio members in the commission.

  • Under the National Medical Commission (NMC), the Government can dictate guidelines for fees up to 40 % of seats in private medical colleges.

  • There is a provision for a common entrance exam and licentiate (exit) exam. The medical graduates have to pass before practising or pursuing PG courses. The MBBS students must pass the exit exam before they step into practice.

  • As far as addition of more seats is concerned regulator’s permission is not required by the Recognised Medical Institutions. The discretionary powers of the regulator will be reduced.

  • As per the provisions of the new bill, the powers of the regulator are reduced to establishment and recognition. This will lead to lesser scrutiny of medical colleges.

  • The bill also aims at checking into the corruption in medical education and shortage of medical professionals.

Reasons for Replacement

  • There has been a short of fulfilling by the Medical Council of India as far as the mandated responsibilities are concerned.

  • The current medical education model has failed to produce the right type of health professionals. The medical education is not well integrated as far as the needs of the health system are concerned.

  • It has been noticed quite often that compromised individuals have been able to make it to the MCI. The concerned Ministry is not empowered to remove or sanction a Member of the Council even if he/she has been found to be corrupt.

Challenges

  • The voting right of every doctor in India to elect their medical council has been scrapped.

  • For MCI courses, standards have been laid down. For NBE courses which are often run in private hospitals and nursing homes such standards will remain the same.

  • There is an intention to equate the post-graduate degrees given by MCI or proposed NMC and the National Board of Examination (NBE).

  • The Medical professions hereafter will be answerable to the bureaucracy and non-medical administrators.

  • The private medical colleges now can charge at their own will thereby invalidating the solace brought by the NEET.

- Published/Last Modified on: September 17, 2019

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