National Medical Commission Bill Passed
National Medical Commission bill passed in Lok Sabha – Lok Sabha which is the Lower Body of Parliament, passed National Medical Commission Bill. The NMC Bill seeks to repeal the Medical Council Act, 1956. It was passed using the voice vote. The opposition parties such as Trinamool Congress, DMK, Congress among others opposed the Bill and staged a walkout.
Earlier the govt had accused the Medical Council of India (MCI) being a corrupt plagued body and stated that it needs a big reform. The Bill is intended to end the ‘Inspector Raj’ that is being witnessed in the Medical Education Sector. Apart from that, the Bill states provision in order to make national standard in the sector of medical education a uniform process. It states that the final year exam of MBBS should be treated as the entrance test for Post Graduation. There should be a screening test for those Medical students who graduate from a foreign university.
Introducing this bill, the Union Health Minister Mr Harsh Vardhan stated that this proposed screening test has been called National Exit Test (NEXT). Under this, the National Medical Commission would have to move away from the infrastructure’s repeated instruction system. Rather than process, it will focus more on outcomes.
Opposition party members have opposed certain provisions of the Bill, such as replacing elected members with the nominated members and the Exit exam. They have stated that this legislation is against the freedom’s spirit.
Manish Tewari, the Congress MP stated that the Bill is like ‘throwing the baby with the bathwater.’ He alleged that the Bill would result in legalisation of capitation fees. However the Union Health Minister countered this allegation by saying that this bill is ‘anti-vested interest.’ it would result in increase of the number of seats in medical colleges. The body would be effective and lean.
The Minister further stated that with this bill, the govt has addressed the genuine concerns of Indian Medical Association (IMA). Still, the body is protesting against it. The Bill was passed by Motion of Consideration with 260-48 votes. N K Premachandran from RSP and Shashi Tharoor from Congress suggested several amendments which was rejected by the Ruling party.
The govt decided to bring in this bill after over 63 colleges under MCI were accused of corruption. The NMC Bill, 2019 is an improved version of the one that was introduced in 2017. Addressing the issue of federalism, the minister stated that the govt would not allow the set up of any Medical College without govt’s permission.