Tuesday, 13 September 2016

Proposed National Medical Commission Bill will bring more corruption and is a mockery of a democratic process: IMA

Proposed National Medical Commission Bill will bring more corruption and is a mockery of a democratic process: IMA

New Delhi, September 12, 2016: “The proposed National Medical Commission Bill, 2016 needs to be discarded”, said Dr SS Agarwal National President IMA.

“The IMA Leadership, State President’s as well as all IMA’s Past Presidents have gone through the proposed NMC Bill and are of the opinion that the proposed bill is not community friendly and should be discarded as a whole”, said Padma Shri Awardee Dr K K Aggarwal, Honorary Secretary General & National President (Elect) Indian Medical Association.

According to IMA, there is nothing new in the proposed bill. The Medical Council of India is already carrying out all the functions enumerated in the bill under the aegis and provisions of the present IMC Act. The NMC bill is trying to refute the very same act, which is unnecessary. It is like rebottling old wine in a new bottle.

The suggested National Medical Commission bill is not democratic and eliminates the provision of having both elected and nominated members. Having only nominates members on the council is a mockery of a democratic process.

If implemented, the bill will eliminate autonomy and give 100% control to the Ministry of Health, Govt. of India. It will allow non-MBBS doctors to be decision makers and get registered in the National Medical Registrar (NMR) posing a threat to the medical profession as a whole.

 The Health & Family Welfare Department controls other associations and bodies as well including the Dental Council of India, Nursing Council of India, and Pharmacy Council of India. Yet they have actioned a bill only to abolish and reform the MCI. The opinion of most doctors of IMA is why a step motherly treatment is being extended to Medical Council of India alone!

Some other objections filed by the IMA

  • It is not possible for the NMC bill to control State Medical Councils since they are independent bodies enacted by the Law.  The proposed Bill if enacted will go against the Delhi High Court Order that states that associations cannot be brought under the ambit of the Council.
  • It looks like the present NMC Bill has been developed to facilitate a back-door entry to the NMR for those with bridged degrees or registered medical practitioners without a valid MBBS degree.
  • Outsourcing inspections to an external Search Committee may encourage corruption. Elected representation of medical professionals, representatives of State Medical Councils and medical universities are absent in the proposed bill. Any representation of universities at present is only in an advisory capacity without any power.  Total powers are given to the President of the Council who again will have to work under the mercy of the Ministry and can be removed on frivolous grounds.
  • There is no need or reason for subjecting doctors to an EXIT examination after completing their MBBS. The Proposed Bill also has a provision to allow people who fail in the EXIT Exam to continue to practice. This will only create inequality and promote injustice.
  • The provision allowing medical colleges to charge a fee for 60% of its medical seats will add to the corruption. The private medical college fees need to be regulated.
  • Non-medical members in the proposed Bill bodies will create more problems than delivering an effective solution.
  • Exit exam of MBBS will raise more problems.

Medical Councils must be allowed to run independently, in an autonomous and democratic way and not as an extension of the MoHFW. The council must have elected representatives from the Medical profession.

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