Polity and Governance

The National Medical Commission Bill Passed

Introduction
•The National Medical Commission Bill, 2019 was passed by the Lok Sabha on 28th July 2019
•The Bill seeks to repeal the Indian Medical Council Act, 1956 and provide for a medical education system
 
Aims of the Bill
(i) availability of adequate and high quality medical professionals,
(ii) adoption of the latest medical research by medical professionals,
(iii) periodic assessment of medical institutions, and
(iv) an effective grievance redressal mechanism.   
 
Constitution of the National Medical Commission
•The Bill sets up the National Medical Commission (NMC). 
•Within three years of the passage of the Bill, state governments will establish State Medical Councils at the state level. 
•The NMC will consist of 25 members, appointed by the central government. 
•A Search Committee will recommend names to the central government for the post of Chairperson, and the part time members. 
•The Search Committee will consist of seven members including the Cabinet Secretary and five experts nominated by the central government (of which three will have experience in the medical field).
 
Functions of the National Medical Commission
•Framing policies for regulating medical institutions and medical professionals;
•Assessing the requirements of healthcare related human resources and infrastructure;
•Ensuring compliance by the State Medical Councils of the regulations made under the Bill;
•Framing guidelines for determination of fees for up to 40% of the seats in the private medical institutions and Deemed Universities which are regulated as per the Bill.
 
Medical Advisory Council
•Central Government will constitute a Medical Advisory Council.
•The Council will be the primary platform through which the States/Union Territories may put forth their views and concerns before the NMC.
•Council will advise the NMC on measures to enable equitable access to medical education.
 
Autonomous boards
•The Bill sets up certain autonomous boards under the supervision of the NMC.
•Each autonomous board will consist of a President and two members, appointed by the central government.
•There shall be three types of Boards
 
1.Under-Graduate Medical Education Board (UGMEB) & Post-Graduate Medical Education Board (PGMEB)
•These Boards will be responsible for formulating standards, curriculum, guidelines, and for granting recognition to medical qualifications at the undergraduate and post graduate levels respectively,
 
2. Medical Assessment and Rating Board (MARB):
•The 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 the PGMEB.
•The MARB will also grant permission for establishing new medical colleges,
 
3. Ethics and Medical Registration Board
•This Board will maintain a National Register of all licensed medical practitioners, and regulate professional conduct.
•Only those medical practitioners whose names are included in the Register will be allowed to practice medicine.
 
Entrance examination
•There will be a uniform National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test for admission to under-graduate medical education in all medical institutions regulated by the Bill.
•The NMC will specify the manner of conducting common counselling for admission in all such medical institutions.
 
National Exit Test
•The Bill proposes a common final year undergraduate examination called the National Exit Test for the students graduating from medical institutions to obtain the license for practice. 
•This test will also serve as the basis for admission into post-graduate courses at medical institutions under this Bill.
•The bill also has a provision for making national standards in medical education uniform by proposing that the final year MBBS exam be treated as an entrance test for PG and a screening test for students who graduate in medicine from foreign countries.
 
Reference : PRS Legislative Research (“PRS”)



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