The National Medical Commission (NMC) Bill which seeks to replace the 63-year-old Medical Council of India (MCI) to reform the medical sector in India, was introduced in Lok Sabha on Monday. The Bill, introduced by Health Minister Harsh Vardhan, also seeks to repeal the Indian Medical Council Act 1956, stating that the Council set up under it was corrupt. It has been alleged that the process by which the MCI regulated medical colleges was flawed.
The new Bill has the provision for making national standards in medical education uniform by proposing that the final year MBBS exam be treated as an entrance test for PG and a screening test for students who graduated in medicine from foreign countries. This exam will be called the National Exit Test (NEXT).
At present, different medical colleges have different MBBS exam patterns which means there is no surety of the quality of the medical graduate passing out of MBBS. The NMC proposal is to ensure a uniform national pattern for final year MBBS exam so that all medical graduates who get the licence to practise conform to uniform national standards and quality.
The Bill also puts a cap on fees on 50 per cent of seats in MBBS and PG colleges. The NMC will be 29-member body which would comprise of 20 members selected through nomination, and nine through election.
The medical will colleges have to conform to standards the NMC will lay down. Once they conform and are permitted to operate, there would be no need for annual renewals, the government believes.