Cabinet amends MCI Act, empowers health ministry

The Cabinet Thursday cleared amendments to the Medical Council of India Act to empower the health ministry to give policy directions to MCI in matters of public interest.
While the Centre holds this will not encroach upon MCI's autonomy, the move may cause concern about government interference in medical regulation.
The health ministry is likely to bring in an amendment Bill, possibly in the current session of Parliament. Major features are fixed tenures of four years each for MCI chairman and members of the board of governors, powers to the government to remove them in specified situations likely insolvency or in case they face criminal charges, maintaining an electronic medical register to make the process of registration of doctors transparent.
Neither the chairman nor the members of the board could be in office for more than two terms.

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