- NMC bill or the National Medical Commission was first introduced in December 2017 in response to deep dissent that the Medical Council of India had invoked in the government regarding the regulation of medical education.
- After strong opposition from the Indian Medical Association (IMA), the Union cabinet decided to make certain amendments (changes) to the NMC bill.
- Doctors still not pleased even after the government agreed to 4 of their 10 demands made by the IMA.
After the announcement of the doctors' strike
by the IMA, amendments were made to the NMC bill. The amendments were made by the Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi.
Amendments to the NMC bill were made based on a report made by the Standing Committee and the also the views of medical students and practitioners regarding certain provisions of the Bill.
‘The amendments to the NMC bill have indicated the center痴 determination to put the bill in motion at the earliest.’
Let's list the amendments made by the government to fully understand the bone of contention:
- Final year MBBS students have to write a common exit test called the National Exit Test (NEXT) to get the license to practice.
This exit exam would also serve as the screening test for doctors with foreign medical qualifications to practice in India.
- Bridge course that allowed AYUSH practitioners to practice allopathy has been canceled.
The whole provision which dealt with bridge course that allowed AYUSH practitioners to practice modern medicine has been dropped. The decision with regard to this matter has been left to the State Governments to take necessary measures for addressing and promoting primary health care in rural areas.
- Fees will be regulated for 50% of seats in private medical colleges and deemed universities
50 % seats of private medical colleges will be subjected to fees regulation.
- Each state and Union territory will have no more than six representatives, a change in response to the earlier three representative rule
The NMC which is going to be formed, if the bill is passed is going to have six representatives instead of 3 as suggested.
- Different penalty options have been devised instead of a monetary penalty against medical colleges not following the rules.
The rule with the monetary penalty which ranged from one half to ten times the annual fee received from any batch of students, to be charged on colleges which violated any regulations have been replaced by a stricter rule which allows for different penalty options to be imposed. Some of them include reducing intake, stoppage of admission leading up to the withdrawal of recognition.
- Quacks or unqualified medical practitioners will have Stringent punishments .
The punishment for unauthorized medicine practice has been made severe by including a rule for the imprisonment of up to one year along with a fine extending up to Rs. 5 lakhs.
The amendments to the NMC bill have indicated the center's determination to put the bill in motion at the earliest.