NMC Bill Explained: On 22nd July 2019, Monday, the Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan introduced the Bill in Lok Sabha. There have been major changes in the NMC Bill regarding Medical Education. The earlier version of the bill was available in the 16th Lok Sabha. However, the Bill lapsed at the end of the term of the Lok Sabha. Once, the NMC Bill is enacted, the Indian Medical Council Act 1956, will stand repealed.
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The Bill Proposes to regulate the fees and other charges of 50% Seats of the Private and Deemed Medical Colleges. A separate Medical Advisory Council will make necessary changes to the NMC. The Council will comprise of one member representing each State and Union-Territory (Vice-Chancellor in both cases), chairman of the University Grants Commission, and the director of the National Accreditation and Assessment Council.
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There will be four boards dealing with undergraduate and postgraduate medical education, medical assessment and rating board, and the ethics and medical registration board. These Boards will regulate the sector. There will be no need for Annual Renewal, Colleges will be able to increase or decrease their seats of their own. They would also be able to start postgraduate courses on their own.
NMC Bill Explained: Changes made in Medical Education
There have been two major changes in the 2019 Bill, following the recommendation of the Parliamentary Standing Committee of Health and Family Welfare. Hence, the changes are-
- Firstly, it has dropped a Separate Exit Program
- It has also dropped the provision that allowed practitioners of Homeopathy and Indian Systems of Medicine to prescribe allopathy medicines after bridge course.
What is a Bridge Course?
The Bridge Course is a University Preparation Course with academic curriculum. The Committee, therefore, recommends that the State Governments may implement measures to enhance the capacity of the existing healthcare professionals including AYUSH practitioners, B.Sc (Nursing), BDS, B.Pharma, etc to address their State-specific primary healthcare issues in the rural areas.”