In view of widespread criticism of the workings of the Medical Council of India included in the 92ndReport of Department-Related Parliamentary Standing Committee on Health and Family Welfare, presented to the Rajya Sabha on 8th March 2016, the Government of India appointed a committee under the chairmanship of Vice Chairman, NITI Aayog on 28th March 2016. The Committee, which included Additional Principal Secretary to Prime Minister, CEO, NITI Aayog and Secretary, H&FW as Members, was asked to examine all options for reforms in the Medical Council of India and suggest the way forward.
The Committee has completed the first stage of its work and is today posting its preliminary report on the NITI Aayog website (http://niti.gov.in/). Stakeholders are invited to offer their comments and suggestions. These may be sent to email@example.com .
The preliminary report includes a draft Bill intended to replace the current Indian Medical Council Act, 1956. Main Features of the Proposed Bill are as under:
1. Regulators of highest standards of professional integrity and excellence must be appointed through an independent and a transparent selection process by a broad-based Search cum Selection Committee.
2. A New Institutional Architecture for Regulation has been suggested with (i) A Medical Advisory Council (MAC) having representation from the States and Union Territories (UTs) to articulate the national agenda for medical education; (ii) the National Medical Commission (NMC), which is to serve as the policy-making body for medical education; and (iii) four autonomous Boards charged Under Graduate Medical Education, Post Graduate Medical Education, Medical Assessment and Rating and Registration and Ethics.
- Since it has been felt that the input based regulatory philosophy underlying the current MCI has turned into a high entry barrier, the NMC regulation is to be overwhelmingly based on outcomes rather than inputs. The Committee has proposed periodic publication of ratings of medical institutions.
- The Committee has also proposed that NMC be empowered to fix norms for regulating fees for a proportion of seats in private medical colleges while allowing the promoters to fix the fees for the remainder of seats transparently. No fees other than clearly announced on the website of the college should be permitted.
- The committee proposes to provide a statutory basis for common entrance examination for admissions to under-graduate and post-graduate courses in Medical institutions and a Common Licentiate Examination for practice by medical professionals after completion of the undergraduate medical degree.
- The Committee recommends that ‘for- profit’ organisations be permitted to establish medical colleges.