NITI seeks public opinion on National Medical Commission Bill

NITI Aayog, government's premier think-tank, has sought public opinion on the draft National Medical Commission Bill, 2016 that would pave the way for replacing the Medical Council of India with a more transparent body to be called as the National Medical Commission.

"The idea is to create a world class medial education system that ensures adequate supply of high quality medical professionals, greater emphasis on research, provides for objective periodic assessment of medical institutions, enforces high ethical standards and is flexible to adopt to the changing needs of transforming nation," the Aayog has said in the draft bill.

The Committee on the Reform of the Indian Medical Council Act, 1956 chaired by Aayog's vice chairman Arvind Panagariya has sought comments/suggestions/feedback on the draft bill latest by August 31, 2016. Following this, the draft bill will be finalised and would be tabled in Parliament earliest in the winter session.

The bill, if it goes through, would end the much-criticised inspector raj, presenting a major reform of the medical education system and the profession. The biggest change under the new system would be that its members would be selected on merit by a high powered search-cum-selection panel and would not be elected, as in the past, by MCI.

The commission would be advised by another parallel body — the Medical Advisory Council — which would have representatives of all states and two union territories. The commission would have four boards with enough autonomy to decide on the curriculum while the macro policies would be framed by the commission.

These would include under-graduate medical education board, PG medical education board, accreditation and rating board. According to the draft bill, the commission would assess the changing requirements of the health care scenario, human resources for health, health care infrastructure and develop a road map for meeting these requirements.

"It will frame requisite policies for the governance of medical education in the country besides prescribing norms for determination of fees for a proportion of seats, not exceeding 40%, in the private medical educational institutions," it said.

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