All You Need to Know About National Medical Council (NMC) Bill 2016

President Ram Nath Kovind on September 26 gave his assent to the Ordinance on the National Medical Council (NMC) Bill, 2016 that dissolved the Medical Council of India (MCI). The Centre constituted a Board of Governors to perform the roles of MCI until the NMC is passed by the parliament. Here is a quick view of the events around this Bill in the last two years:

National Medical Council Bill, 2016
2016 – A four-member NITI Aayog committee proposed the NMC Bill
July 2017- A committee of Group of Ministers constituted to relook at the Bill
December 2017- Union minister for health and family welfare J P Nadda tables the Bill in the Parliament
The Bill proposed to
a) Dissolve Medical Council of India and set up National Medical Commission
b) Regulate fees of 50% seats in private deemed universities
c) Introduce an exit exam for all MBBS students
d) A BRIDGE course to allow AYUSH practitioners to practice allopathy
e) Punishing illegal practice
f) Penalising non-compliant medical colleges
December 2017- Opposition and Doctors oppose some provisions of the Bill
January 2018- Lok Sabha refers the Bill to a Parliamentary Committee
January to February 2018- Centre attempts to table the Bill again the Lok Sabha in the budget sessions, fails
March 2018- Government considers recommendations of Parliamentary Committee
March 28, 2018- Union Government drops the provision of BRIDGE course
July to August 2018- Centre tables the Bill for the third time in Lok Sabha, fails
September 2018- Centre takes the Ordinance route
September 26, 2018- President signed the Ordinance and MCI is scrapped. A seven-member Board of Governors will take over the powers of MCI until the NMC Bill is passed in the parliament

Source: The Times of India, The Economic Times & The Indian Express

Note: The Ordinance will lapse if the Centre fails to pass the Bill in Parliament within six weeks after its reassembly.

While the Union government has succeeded in gaining temporary powers, it’s decision to drop a few regulations met with severe criticism both, from the opposition and allopathic doctors across the country. One such bold decision is the dissolving of MCI. We asked our community about it and these were the dominant views:

  1. Good move, but new body needs to bring a change: Doctors appreciated the Centre’s move to dissolve the long-criticized MCI. At the same time, they expect that the new body should bring a change in eliminating corruption from the medical system in the country and improving the overall healthcare system in India.
  2. Towards a better medical education system: Fresh regulations to improve medical education and remove corruption from private medical colleges is the need of the hour. Physicians suggest that the new body should look at medical education systems in other countries and adapt best practices to ensure unbiased and ethical medical education.
  3. New body should be autonomous: Most doctors were concerned about the political intervention in the new body. They said that the apex body should be autonomous and comprise experts from the field of medicine and not administrators of other organizations and governing bodies. It is proposed that the NMC will have 25 members of which 21 will be from the medical profession.

Do you think Centre’s move can help improve the medical system?


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