Harsh Vardhan affirms the NMC Bill to be a “visionary reform”
Harsh Vardhan, Health Minister of India posits that the NMC Bill passed in the Lok Sabha session held on Monday,29 July 2019 is one of the greatest reforms put forth by Modi government. The bill seeks to create National Medical Commission in place of current Medical Council of India (MCI). The Bill was passed with 260 members voting in its favour and 48 against it.
Before the passage of the bill, the opposition walked out. In response to the issues raised by them, Vardhan claimed the bill to be “pro-public”. He affirmed that it will help them to move away from inspector raj and bring down costs of medical education. All the modifications brought forth by Opposition were relegated.
He added that the Bill is anti-federal and no medical college will be set up without the state government’s Essentiality Certificate. Enforcement of medical ethics will continue to be with the State Medical Councils and the registration of doctors will continue to be done by the state governments.
Vardhan said, “Once NMC Bill becomes law, there will be a period, say, up to nine months, during which time various sections and provisions of the Act will be implemented. Considering the global standards of examination in the medical field, all those methods of examination will be taken care of by the NMC”
Vardhan has been associated with the Delhi Medical Association and the Indian Medical Association for past 45 years. In his recent Lok Sabha Speech introducing the bill, he affirmed that he is well aware of the difficulties people face in accessing healthcare at the primary and sub-center level.
The Bill introduces a new term National Exit Test (NEXT), for the common final year MBBS exam. This new term would serve as a screening test for foreign medical graduates. It would be considered as a licentiate exam for entrance to post-graduate medical courses. Further, the national entrance test (NEET) and NEXT will be applicable to Institutes of National Importance (INIs). It enlists that the MARB will conduct a thorough research of the medical colleges and ranking system that would help students choose colleges.