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Lok Sabha takes up National Medical Education Bill, Harsh Vardhan terms it progressive legislation


ANI General News
Moving the bill for passage in the House, Harsh Vardhan said it has a provision for creating a separate national register for adequately qualified allopathic allied health workers.
"This will make available a larger number of community health providers for national disease control programmes," he said.
He said the bill, which provides repeal of the Indian Medical Council Act, 1956, proposes that fee fixation of 50 per cent seats in all private and deemed universities shall be done in accordance with guidelines laid down by NMC which will bring these seats within reach of economically weaker sections.
"The National Medical Commission Bill 2019 which has come up for consideration and discussion today is a pro-poor progressive legislation, set to be a game-changer to bring about transformational reforms in the medical education sector," he said.
Harsh Vardhan said Modi government is committed to zero-tolerance to corruption and has introduced new schemes and reforms to tackle the skewed distribution of medical seats.
The minister said that number of merit-based seats has been raised, the ratio of undergraduate and postgraduate seats had been raised, medical colleges had been set up in under-served areas and several AIIMS are slated to come up.
He said that out of the recommendations contained in the 109th report of Department Related Parliamentary Standing Committee, 30 have been fully accepted, seven partly accepted and only nine were rejected after due consideration.
Noting that he too was a doctor committed to the dignity of the medical profession, the minister said all genuine concerns of Indian Medical Association have been properly addressed.
He said the parliament had discussed a calling attention motion in 2010 related to the functioning of MCI and the then Health Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad had said a way will be found to streamline the system.
MCI was dissolved and reconstituted again in 2013 but complaints started appearing again, Vardhan remarked.
The minister said corruption allegations concerning MCI have been a major problem and an expert group was constituted which noted that the council has completely failed in its duty.
The bill provides for the common final year MBBS exams to be known as National Exit Test (NEXT) which would serve as licentiate exam for entrance to post-graduate medical courses and as a 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 of the medical colleges and develop a system of ranking institutes which would enable the students to chose wisely.
National Medical Commission will have four Autonomous Boards - Under-Graduate Medical Education Board, Post-Graduate Medical Education Board, Medical Assessment and Rating Board and Ethics and Medical Registration Board.
The NMC and the respective Boards will ensure a dynamic and modern educational environment, decreasing the emphasis on physical infrastructure, achieving the norms in global standards and an effective grievance redressal mechanism.
MARB will grant permission for new medical colleges, starting PG course and increase of seats based on the standards set by the UG and PG boards. The bill provides doing away with the annual renew permission for new medical colleges before recognition.

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First Published: Jul 29 2019 | 2:47 PM IST

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