Ordinance to replace MCI
04, Sep 2018
Prelims level : Indian Polity Governance: Institutional Reforms Mains level : GS Paper – II Government Policies & Intervention for development in various sectors & issues arising out of their design & implementation.
- An ordinance was issued to allow a committee of eminent professionals run the scamtainted Medical Council of India till a bill which seeks to replace the body with a new commission is passed by Parliament.
- The Cabinet cleared the ordinance and the President has given his assent. Now the committee of most eminent doctors in the country will run the MCI.
- A Bill pending in Parliament seeks to replace the MCI with the National Medical Commission.
- The Bill was taken up for consideration and was referred to Department related Parliamentary Standing Committee on Health & Family Welfare for examination. The Parliamentary Standing Committee presented its 109th Report on the Bill to the House. The Ministry after examining the recommendations obtained approval of the Cabinet for moving official amendments. Thereafter, the Bill is pending in the Lok Sabha.
- Amid allegations of corruption against MCI office bearers and probes into opaque accreditation to medical colleges, the Supreme Court had, in May 2016, directed the Centre to set up an oversight committee with the authority to oversee all statutory functions of the MCI till a new legislation is enacted. Several MCI members have been accused of accepting bribes to fast-track accreditation.
- When the SC-appointed panel could not function and the bill to replace MCI awaiting parliamentary nod, certain “immediate steps” were needed.
- The Bill pending in Parliament provides for simplification of procedures and is expected to spur rapid growth in the number of undergraduate and post-graduate seats in the country besides enhancing the governance and quality of medical education.
- In 2017, another oversight committee was set up with the approval of the top court after the expiry of the one-year term of the first panel.
- The BoG will run the MCI till the time a Bill, which seeks to replace the body with a new commission, is passed by Parliament.
- The Board of Governors includes NITI Aayog member V K Paul, AIIMS, Delhi director Randeep Guleria, PGIMER, Chandigarh director Jagat Ram, NIMHANS, Bangalore director B N Gangadhar and Nikhil Tandon, professor, AIIMS Department of Endocrinology and Metabolism.
- All the BoG members are eminently qualified and apolitical. Further, five of the seven members were the members of the Supreme Court appointed Oversight Committee. It is expected that the BoG will bring about urgent and the much-required reforms in the field of medical education and promote access to quality healthcare for all the people of India.
- It is aimed at bringing complete transparency in the medical education system. This will strengthen medical education in the country.
- It is expected that the BoG will bring about urgent and much required reforms in the field of medical education.
The National Medical Commission Bill:
- The National Medical Commission Bill, 2017 was introduced by the Minister of Health and Family Welfare.
- The Bill seeks to repeal the Indian Medical Council Act, 1956 and provide for a medical education system which ensures
- Availability of adequate and high-quality medical professionals.
- Adoption of the latest medical research by medical professionals.
- Periodic assessment of medical institutions.
- An effective grievance redressal mechanism.
Constitution of the National Medical Commission:
- The Bill sets up the National Medical Commission (NMC). Within three years of the passage of the Bill, state governments will establish State Medical Councils at the state level.
- The NMC will consist of 25 members, appointed by the central government.
- Members of the NMC will include: (i) the Chairperson, (ii) the President of the Under Graduate Medical Education Board, (iii) the President of the Post-Graduate Medical Education Board, (iv) the Director General of Health Services, Directorate General of Health Services, (v) the Director General, Indian Council of Medical Research, and (vi) five members (part-time) to be elected by the registered medical practitioners from amongst themselves from the prescribed regional constituencies under the Bill. Functions of the National
- Framing policies for regulating medical institutions and medical professionals.
- Assessing the requirements of healthcare related human resources and infrastructure.
- Ensuring compliance by the State Medical Councils of the regulations made under the Bill.
- Framing guidelines for determination of fees in the private medical institutions and deemed universities which are regulated as per the Bill.
Medical Advisory Council:
- Under the Bill, the central government will constitute a Medical Advisory Council. The Council will be the primary platform through which the states/union territories can put forth their views and concerns before the NMC.
- There will be a uniform National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test for admission to undergraduate medical education in all medical institutions regulated by the Bill.
- The NMC will specify the manner of conducting common counselling for admission in all such medical institutions.