National Medical Commission comes into existence, MCI abolished

The National Medical Commission (NMC) for development and regulation of all aspects of medical education and profession came into existence on Friday, a gazette notification said.

With this, the decades old institution of the Medical Council of India (MCI) stands abolished.

Along with NMC, the four Autonomous Boards of UG and PG Medical Education Boards, Medical Assessment and Rating Board, and Ethics and Medical Registration Board have also been constituted to help the NMC in day to day functioning.

With the coming into effect of the NMC Act from September 25, 2020, the Indian Medical Council Act, 1956 stands repealed and the Board of Governors appointed in supersession of Medical Council of India has also been dissolved.

The Notifications in this regard were issued late last night.

Calling it a historic reform, Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare said it will steer medical education towards a transparent, qualitative and accountable system.

"The basic change that has happened is that the regulator is now 'selected' on merits, as opposed to an 'elected' regulator. Men and Women with impeccable integrity, professionalism, experience and stature have been now placed at the helm to steer the medical education reforms further" it said.

Former head of Delhi All India Institute of Medical Sciences ENT department, Dr Suresh Chandra Sharma has been appointed for a period of three years with effect from September 25.

Besides the Chairperson, NMC will have 10 ex-officio members that include Presidents of the four Autonomous Boards, Dr Jagat Ram, Director PGIMER, Chandigarh; Dr Rajendra A Badwe, Tata Memorial Hospital, Mumbai; and Dr Surekha Kishore, Executive Director, AIIMS, Gorakhpur. In addition, NMC will have 10 nominees from Vice Chancellors of Health Universities from states and UTs, nine nominees from State Medical Councils, and three expert members from diverse professions.

Dr Smita Kolhe, a renowned social worker working in tribal Melaghat area of Maharashtra and Santosh Kumar Kraleti, CEO, Foot Soldiers for Health Pvt Ltd have been nominated as these expert members.

Rakesh Kumar Vats, the Secretary General in the Board of Governors of the MCI, presently, would be the secretary of the commission.

The NMC will carry forward the reforms initiated by the Board of Governors under Dr VK Paul, the government said, adding that the number of MBBS seats has increased over the last six years by 48% from around 54000 in 2014 to 80,000 in 2020.

The PG seats have increased by 79% from 24,000 to 54,000 in the same duration.

The key functions of the NMC will be further streamlining regulations, rating of institutions, HR assessment, focus on research. Besides they will work on modalities of the common final year exam after MBBS (NEXT- National Exit Test) to serve for both registration and PG entrance; prepare guidelines for fee regulation by private medical colleges; and developing standards for Community Health Providers to serve in primary healthcare with limited practicing licence.

It may be recalled that the National Medical Commission Act, 2019 was passed by the Parliament in August, 2019.

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