'NMC bill would encourage quackery', say protesting doctors across country

Thousands of doctors across the country protested against certain provisions in the National Medical Commission Bill, which the Rajya Sabha passed on Thursday.

Published: 02nd August 2019 02:34 AM  |   Last Updated: 02nd August 2019 08:31 AM   |  A+A-

Doctors and medical students shout slogans during a protest against the National Medical Commission (NMC) Bill outside All India Medical Science in New Delhi on Thursday August 1 2019. | (Parveen Negi | EPS) 

By Express News Service

NEW DELHI: Thousands of doctors across the country protested against certain provisions in the National Medical Commission Bill, which the Rajya Sabha passed on Thursday.

One of the points they made was it would encourage quackery, as the bill allows even paramedics to get a licence to practice modern medicine in villages by designating them as community health providers.

The Bill that seeks to repeal the Indian Medical Council Act, was passed with one amendment moved by Congress leader Jairam Ramesh. It had originally proposed a 25-member Commission with 14 nominated by the Centre, six by states and five elected from the profession. Post amendment, it will have 33 members — 14 from the Centre, 10 from states and nine from the profession.

During the discussion, many Opposition parties, especially DMK, raised the issue of NEET and National Exit Exam (NEXT). DMK’s Tiruchi Siva questioned the need for an exit exam after five years of education and why it should be conducted by the Centre. The AIADMK staged a walkout opposing the Bill.

Union health minister Dr Harsh Vardhan explained that NEXT will be conducted at the national level.

“This will give final year student three things. First, they will pass their final year exam.  Second, they will become doctors and will be eligible to get the licence to practise. It will also give them admission to PG courses depending on their merit,” Vardhan added.

Why doctors are against it

  • It lets Homeo, Ayurvedic doctors practise modern medicine.

  • Critics say practitioners of alternative medicine can’t match those who studied medicine for five years

  • It also allows paramedics such as pharmacists and nurses to practise as doctors in a limited way.

  • Critics say this would encourage quackery.

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