New Delhi : Those passing MBBS cannot start practicing right away under a new law in the making to replace the Medical Council of India (MCI).

The draft Bill to replace the MCI with the National Medical Commission (NMC) mandates every MBBS graduate to clear the proposed exit examination to get the licence to practice as a doctor. It will be called the National Licentiate Examination as compulsory for the medical graduates to pass for enrollment in  the Medical Register and start practicing.

Those graduating in medicine from foreign universities in countries like China, Russia and Germany will also have to take the examination to practice in India. This examination will also be used in place of the entrance test of the National Entrance cum Eligibility Test (NEET) for admissions in postgraduate courses in the medical colleges.

The Health Ministry has just moved a Cabinet note for tabling the Bill in the upcoming Parliament session from July 17 after it got an approval from a Group of Ministers (GoM) headed by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley. The ministry sources said this is a forward movement in the field of the medical education reforms that began last year with the introduction of NEET for admissions in medical colleges for undergraduate and postgraduate courses.

The draft Bill subsumed the MCI in the proposed Commission which will have four autonomous boards tasked with conduct of undergraduate and postgraduate education in medical field, assessing and rating medical institutions, registering the practitioners and enforcing medical ethics. The MCI was trying to perform all these tasks under the Indian Medical Council Act of 1956.

The GoM overruled the NITI Aayog committee headed by its vice-chairman Arvind Panagariya that drafted the Bill on ending the practice of the elections. The committee, which also had PM’s additional principal secretary P K Mishra, NITI Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant and then health secretary B P Sharma, had said that “MCI system where the regulated elect the regulators is flawed.” The MCI Act provided for the registered doctors to elect the MCI president and members.

Tweaking the committee’s draft, the GoM felt selection of the medical commission members should be balanced by allowing 9 of the 29 NMC members coming through elections and the remaining through nom nation.

(To download our E-paper please click here. The publishers permit sharing of the paper's PDF on WhatsApp and other social media platforms.)

Free Press Journal