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National Medical Commission Bill approved by Union Cabinet, MCI to be replaced

The bill, which would replace the Medical Council Act of 1956, is expected to end “heavy handed” regulatory control over medical education institutions and would signal a shift towards outcome-based monitoring.

With an objective of ensuring transparency, the Union Cabinet today gave approval for the draft National Medical Commission Bill, 2017 for which the much-criticized MCI, the existing apex medical education regulator, will be swapped.

The move is based on recommendations of the Ranjit Roychowdhury Committee and a Parliamentary standing committee as reported in Economic Times.

National Medical Commission Bill, 2017:

  • The draft bill provides for the constitution of four autonomous boards entrusted with conducting undergraduate and postgraduate education, assessment and accreditation of medical institutions and registration of practitioners under the National Medical Commission
  • The bill also envisages a government-constituted 64-member Medical Advisory Council, which would act as the primary platform for states to give views and raise concerns related to medical education

Here’s what National Medical Commission Bill, 2017 proposes:

  • The commission will have government nominated chairman and members
  • A search committee under the Cabinet Secretary will select the board members
  • There will five elected and 12 ex-official members in the commission
  • The draft bill also proposes a common entrance exam and licentiate exam which all medical graduates will have to clear to get practicing licenses
  • The aim of the draft bill is to bring reforms in the medical education sector which has been under scrutiny for corruption and unethical practices
  • As per the provisions of the draft bill, no permission would be required to add new seats or to start postgraduate courses

Critique of MCI:

MCI has long been criticized for rampant corruption and a lack of accountability which, according to a parliamentary standing committee report on health last year.