The Union Health Ministry has decided to scrap all health regulatory bodies, including the Medical Council of India (MCI), Dental Council of India, Pharmacy Council and the Nursing Council.
There will instead be a single regulatory body-the National Council for Human Resources in Health, which will oversee seven departments related to medicine, nursing, dentistry, rehabilitation and physiotherapy, pharmacy, public health/hospital management and allied health sciences.
However, the move needs a formal government notification.
The existing councils, besides being unwieldy, have failed to provide a synergistic approach and there is an urgent need for innovation in health-related education.
Sources said the task force report has been discussed with the Prime Minister on August 26, 2009, which state, "Professional councils such as the MCI/ Nursing and Pharmacy Councils have been set up to regulate the practice of their respective professions, including education.
However, it also says that many of these councils have drawn criticism from all sections of society and got judicial censure on several occasions."
This action comes barely two months after a private television channel exposed private medical schools in Tamil Nadu charging students huge capitation fees.
The Human Resource Development (HRD) ministry has since initiated action against the erring colleges. The state government has issued showcause notices to both the private medical colleges after the scam came to light.