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National Medical Commission Bill 2019

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National Medical Commission Bill 2019

shape Introduction

What are the key features of the bill?

Instead of the corrupted Medical Council of India (MCI), the bill aims to create a government body called the National Medical Commission.

The following are the key features of the National Medical Commission (NMC) Bill

    1. The bill recommends to set up a medical committee, both at the central and state level, within about 3 years after the law is passed.

    2. The NMC Bill recommends a standard final year MBBS exam, to be termed as the National Exit Test (NEXT), for entrance to post-graduation medical education and for a license to practice medicine. This would also serve as an evaluation test for overseas graduates.

    3. The National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET) will be conducted so that students can be admitted to all medical institutions, including AIIMS and JIPMER, with common counselling.

    4. Section 32 of the NMC Bill (mid-level medical practitioners) states that 350,000 non-medical ineligible individuals will be allowed to practice medical science.

    5. A search committee will give names for the position of chairman and part-time members to the central government.

    6. NMC is a governmental body consisting of 25 central government-appointed members. Members of the Indian Council of Medical Research and the Directorate General of Health Services are included.

    7. It will regulate institutions that manage and administer norms in medical universities and colleges and give authorization for the new college in undergraduate and post-graduate education.

    8. The NMC has 4 independent committees – Undergraduate Medical Education Board, Postgraduate Medical Education Board, Medical Assessment and Rating Board and Ethical and Medical Registration Board.

    9. The tenure of NMC will be 4 years.

    10. The Medical Council of India needs to meet somewhat once a year, while a quarterly meeting of the National Medical Commission.

    11. The members of the NMC Board must disclose their assets and liabilities when they join and resign the office.

shape NMC Bill

Why does the government want to regulate medical education?

PM Modi stated that the government’s objective about healthcare is clear – to build a more fair system of medical education.

    • The proposed NMC Bill aims at replacing the Medical Commission of India with a National Medical Commission that controls all medical education, profession, and institutions.

    • PM Modi said that the NMC would eliminate the current Indian medical corruption.

    • The parliamentary commission observed mismanagement, absence of clarity and unfair medical education when the government was established in 2014. Then the reforms were introduced because this is not a problem that can be treated lightly, as it is about the health of individuals and youth’s future.

    • PM said that the bill was finalized on the grounds of expert’s suggestions.

    It will guarantee clarity, responsibility, and standard of medical education management in the nation.

    • It intends to reduce the student’s burden, maximize medical seats and lower medical education costs. This implies that skilled young people can take medicine as their profession and enables them to raise the number of healthcare professionals.

    • PM said that the government also makes sure that every 3 districts are consisting of at least one medical college.

How may the bill fail to curb commercialization?

(IMA) is dissatisfied with many of Bill’s provisions, such as a rise of over 50% of the management/NRI quota, bridge courses, and a non-democratic framework.

  • While the controversial clauses have still been kept, the introduction of Section 32 that allows community healthcare providers to operate alternative medicine will only threaten people’s lives.

  • The suggestion to combine NEXT and NEET is questionable and insignificant.

  • During the licensing examination, the minimum qualified person is authorized to prescribe medicine.

  • The other section offers a recommendation for reducing the fee for private medical universities and colleges that have been limited to 50% of the seats and is further corrupted to frame guidelines only. Now the state-binding rules will privatize 100% of private medical seats in respect of the fee. The poor socio-economic classes will have a significant disadvantage as medical education in the nation would be costly.

  • The absence of transparency about execution, moreover, has placed the policy as a whole at risk.

  • The IMA is against NMC Bill 2019 because it breaches the six main concepts of sovereignty, uniformity, public health, right to democracy, federalism and equal opportunities.

  • The NMC Bill is a privately held management bill that leaves the door open for complete corruption, as said by Rajan Sharma, National President-elect, IMA.

  • The NMC establishment will significantly cut down the power of the state government – from governance to advisory.

What are the major concerns?

In specific, three provisions have faced major opposition (unfair criticism) from some of the members of the medical association. These are as follows –

1) Section 10(1)(i)Fee regulation

    • Critics blame the NMC for promoting private medical colleges by making medical education a reserve for the prosperous. Coincidentally, it was under the MCI that degraded the significance of entrance via the flowing of black money and duty charges.

    • Any student acquiring 50% marks in class 12th could acquire admission to MBBS courses before this one. Colleges collaborated with the students and evaluated them in a non-transparent way. Many ineligible students were therefore enlisted. Now only NEET qualified students are eligible which guarantees that admissions are justified.

    • In the last 5 years, over Rupees 10,000 crores have been invested in the development of government seats and 21 new AIIMS have been established of over Rupees 30,000 crores to improve the medical education sector. In the future, this pattern to increase government seats will proceed.

    • Approximately, 50% of the country’s total MBBS seats are maintained in government colleges with minimal fees. NMC will control 50% of the remaining seats. So about 75% of the total seats in the nation would have decent fees.

2) Section 15 – NEXT Exam

    •The MCI failed to guarantee the system only merit graduates.

    NEXT will be a finishing assessment to see whether all doctors have a similar level of knowledge and abilities.

    • Admission to post-graduate courses and counselling are also simplified.

    • It was a raised concern that NEXT will be restricted to a multiple-choice examination. Since it comes into effect after 3 years, there is sufficient time to identify the particular outline of a test to make sure that the conceptual and medical qualifications are balanced properly.

3) Section 32 – Limited license to practice at mid-level as Community Health Provider Clause 32, which, according to the reviewers, is regulating dishonesty, is the most discussed feature of the NMC Bill.

    • In many regions, there is a massive shortage of doctors as can be seen in urban to rural density ratio of 3:8:1.

    • To manage the number of doctors, limited license, to provide precautionary and basic health facilities, is granted to Community Health Providers (CHPs). There has been sufficient protection. NMC will decide the qualifications of CHPs through regulations.

Author: Vanshika
Published: September 19,2019

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