By Health In Five Writer
The National Medical Commission (NMC) will replace Medical Council of India (MCI) as the country’s apex regulator of medical education and profession has come into existence last week.
Terming the constitution of the National Medical Commission (NMC) as historic reform, the Union Health Ministry recently released a statement informing about the MCI replacement.
“Historic reform in the field of medical education has been affected by the Union Government with the constitution of the National Medical Commission (NMC), along with four Autonomous Boards. With this, the decades-old institution of the Medical Council of India (MCI) stands abolished. Along with NMC, the four Autonomous Boards of UG and PG Medical Education Boards, Medical Assessment and Rating Board, and Ethics and Medical Registration Board have also been constituted to help the NMC in day to day functioning,” the release stated.
The ministry stated that the reform will steer India towards new era of medical education. The biggest change in rules will be that Regulator will be selected on basis of ‘merit’.
“This historic reform will steer medical education towards a transparent, qualitative and accountable system. The basic change that has happened is that the regulator is now ‘selected’ on merits, as opposed to an ‘elected’ Regulator. Men and Women with impeccable integrity, professionalism, experience and stature have been now placed at the helm to steer the medical education reforms further,” the release added
The notifications in this regard were issued on the 24th of September 2020. Dr SC Sharma (retd. Prof, ENT, AIIMS, Delhi) has been selected as the chairperson for a period of three years. Besides the chairperson, NMC will have 10 ex-officio members that include Presidents of the four Autonomous Boards, Dr. Jagat Ram, Director of PGIMER, Chandigarh, Dr Rajendra A Badwe, Tata Memorial Hospital, Mumbai, and Dr. Surekha Kishore, Executive Director, AIIMS, Gorakhpur.
In addition, NMC will have 10 nominees from vice-chancellors of health universities from States/UTs, 9 nominees from State Medical Councils, and three expert members from diverse professions.
Dr. Smita Kolhe, a renowned social worker working in the tribal Melaghat area of Maharashtra, and Shri Santosh Kumar Kraleti, CEO, Foot Soldiers for Health Pvt Ltd have been nominated as these expert members. Dr R K Vats will head the Secretariat as Secretary of the NMC.
In addition to NMC, four Autonomous Boards have also been constituted and come into effect from Friday.
The Commission has four Autonomous Boards, namely the Under-Graduate Medical Education Board, Post-Graduate Medical Education Board, Medical Assessment and Rating Board and ethics and Medical Registration Board to oversee UG/ PG education, accreditation and assessment and the matters related to ethics and professional conduct of doctors.
The NMC will carry forward the reforms initiated by the Board of Governors under Dr V K Paul. Already, number of MBBS seats has increased over the last six years by 48% from around 54000 in 2014 to 80,000 in 2020.
The PG seats have increased by 79% from 24000 to 54000 in the same duration. The key functions of the NMC will be further streamlining regulations, rating of institutions, HR assessment, focus on research.
Besides they will work on modalities of the common final year exam after MBBS (NEXT- National Exit Test) to serve for both registration and PG entrance; prepare guidelines for fee regulation by private medical colleges; and developing standards for Community Health Providers to serve in primary healthcare with the limited practicing license.
It may be recalled that the National Medical Commission Act, 2019 was passed by the Parliament in August, 2019. With the coming into effect of the NMC Act from 25th September 2020, the Indian Medical Council Act, 1956 stands repealed and the Board of Governors appointed in supersession of Medical Council of India has also been dissolved with effect from the said date.