National Medical Commission Bill

National Medical Commission Bill 2019

National Medical Commission (NMC) Bill passed in Lok Sabha on Monday 29 July 2019. The National Medical Commission Bill that seeks to repeal the Indian Medical Council Act 1956 was passed by a voice vote.

The bill also has a provision for making national standards in medical education uniform by proposing that the final year MBBS exam be treated as an entrance test for PG and a screening test for students who graduate in medicine from foreign countries.

This exam, called the National Exit Test (NEXT), would ensure that the proposed National Medical Commission (NMC) moves away from a system of repeated inspections of infrastructure and focuses on outcomes rather than processes, Union Health Minister Dr. Harsh Vardhan said. The National Medical Commission Bill, 2019, was passed following a division even as the minister had appealed for its unanimous passage. The Bill was passed with 260 members voting in its favour and 48 against it.

What is NMC Bill

Bill replace 45 years old Indian Medical Council Act 1956, Minister stated “It will improve the standards of medical education. It is a major, major reform in medical education in India.”

He noted that the NMC bill 2019 is an improved version of the one brought in 2017.

“Once the NMC Bill is passed by both houses of Parliament, EXIT examination will be implemented in the next three years,” the Minister said.

On issues related to federalism, Minister said, “No medical college will be set up without the state government’s permission.”
The Minister also added that the government will have no role in the day-to-day running of the medical colleges.

“Yearly inspections have been done away with. This is expected to do away with inspection raj and foster addition of UG and PG seats in the country,” he added.

Vardhan said the Bill seeks to put in place a new structure to tackle challenges in the medical education sector and is a pro-poor.

The bill provides that the common final year MBBS exams to be known as National Exit Test (NEXT) would serve as licentiate exam for entrance to post-graduate medical courses and as the screening test for foreign medical graduates. It also provides that the national entrance test i.e. NEET, common counselling and NEXT shall also be applicable to Institutes of National Importance (INIs) like AIIMS to have common standards in the country.

The bill provides that the Medical Assessment and Rating Board (MARB) will conduct an assessment to the medical college and develop a system of ranking medical colleges which would enable the students to chose the medical college wisely. It provides for the repeal of the Indian Medical Council Act 1956.

Also See: MBBS Admission process in Bangladesh