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National Medical Commission Bill 2017

Published on January 03, 2018
The Cabinet of India approved National Medical Commission Bill 2017 which led to doctors' strikes for 12 hours.

National Medical Commission Bill 2017

Aim of Bill

Currently, in India, Medical Council of India (MCI) is the statutory body for establishing uniform and high standards of medical education but the bill aims at replacing the existing medical education regulator Medical Council of India (MCI) with a new body to ensure transparency.

Why did MCI protest?

Indian Medical Association (IMA) yesterday demanded the rollback of NMC and called off its 12-hour strike. IMA said that the bill will cripple the medical profession. The Bill seeks to appoint a government-nominated chairman and members, who will be selected by a committee under the Cabinet Secretary. The medical fraternity opposed the clause saying that the body would not be able to effectively be run by the government. Also, the practitioners of Ayurveda and other traditional Indian systems of medicine will be given the licence to prescribe allopathic drugs after they have passed a ‘bridge course.’

Points of Opposition

Four autonomous boards will be constituted to conduct undergraduate and postgraduate education, assessment and accreditation of medical institutions and registration of practitioners under the NMC.
Earlier, the MCI’s approval was needed for establishing, renewing, recognising and increasing seats in an undergraduate course. Under the new proposal, permission needs to be sought only for establishment and recognition.
A common entrance exam and licentiate exam which all medical graduates will have to clear to get practising licences making it difficult for the doctors to commence their practice.
"It is highly insensitive to the plight of medical students who even otherwise must undergo a long and tortuous academic career chequered with highly competitive exams," 
Abolishment of Section 15 of the IMC Act, which says that the basic qualification to practice modern medicine is MBBS
The bill takes away the voting right of every doctor in India to elect their medical council. 

According to the IMA, the NMC will "cripple" the functioning of the medical profession by making it completely answerable to the bureaucracy and non-medical administrators. IMA president Dr K K Agarwal appealed to the prime minister to revise the draft bill in the larger interest of the medical profession.

Power and Functions of National Medical Commission

  • To assess the changing requirements of the healthcare scenario, human resources for health, healthcare infrastructure and develop a roadmap for meeting these requirements.
  • To frame requisite policies for the governance of Medical Education.
  • To frame regulations for the smooth working of the Commission and the Boards without undermining the autonomy of the Boards and within the provisions of this Act and Rules framed under it.
  • To provide overarching policy coordination among the Boards with due
  • regard to their autonomy.
  • To ensure that State Councils effectively enforce the provisions of the Act and in event of inaction on their part, take such action as it deems fit to ensure compliance.
  • To exercise Appellate Authority with respect to decisions of the UGMEB,
  • PGMEB and MARB.
  • To prescribe norms for determination of fees for a proportion of seats, not exceeding 40%, in the Private Medical Educational Institutions.
  • To exercise such other powers and duties as the Central Government may confer upon it from time to time under the Rules framed under the Act.

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