#JustIn: The National Medical Commission Bill, 2019 (NMC) introduced by Dr. Harsh Vardhan, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has been successfully passed by the Loksabha today. The next step for the bill is to be passed in Rajya Sabha after which the 65-year-old Indian Medical Council Act will be replaced by the NMC Bill, 2019.
"...All the concerns raised by IMA and the doctors have been addressed in the bill..," Dr. Harsh Vardhan in the Lok Sabha.
The main Highlight of this bill is that the Bill proposes a common final year undergraduate examination called the National Exit Test (NEXT) for the students graduating in medical institutions to obtain the license for medical practice. This test will also serve as the basis for admission into post-graduate courses at medical institutions under this Bill.
Functions of NMC: It will function as a central body for
(1) Framing policies for regulating medical institutions and medical professionals
(2) Assessing the requirements of healthcare-related human resources and infrastructure
(3) Ensuring compliance by the State Medical Councils of the regulations made under the Bill,
(4) Framing guidelines for determination of fees for up to 50% of the seats in private medical institutions and deemed universities which are regulated under the Bill.
Medical Advisory Council: Under the Bill, the central government will constitute a Medical Advisory Council. The Council will be the primary platform through which the states/union territories can put forth their views and concerns before the NMC. Further, the Council will advise the NMC on measures to determine and maintain minimum standards of medical education.
Autonomous boards: The Bill sets up autonomous boards under the supervision of the NMC. Each autonomous board will consist of a President and four members, appointed by the central government. These boards are: (1) The Under-Graduate Medical Education Board (UGMEB) and The Post-Graduate Medical Education Board (PGMEB): These Boards will be responsible for formulating standards, curriculum, guidelines, and granting recognition to medical qualifications at the undergraduate and post-graduate levels respectively. (2) The Medical Assessment and Rating Board (MARB): MARB will have the power to levy monetary penalties on medical institutions which fail to maintain the minimum standards as laid down by the UGMEB and PGMEB. The MARB will also grant permission for establishing a new medical college, starting any postgraduate course, or increasing the number of seats. (3) The Ethics and Medical Registration Board: This Board will maintain a National Register of all licensed medical practitioners, and regulate professional conduct. Only those included in the Register will be allowed to practice medicine. The Board will also maintain a separate National Register for community health providers.
Limited License to Community health providers: Under the Bill, the NMC may grant a limited license to certain mid-level practitioners connected with the modern medical profession to practice medicine. These mid-level practitioners may prescribe specified medicines in primary and preventive healthcare. In any other cases, these practitioners may only prescribe medicines under the supervision of a registered medical practitioner.
Entrance examinations: There will be a uniform National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test (NEET) for admission to under-graduate and post-graduate super-speciality medical education in all medical institutions regulated under the Bill.
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Source: Lok Sabha TV