NEW DELHI: It was doctors’ day out in the Lok Sabha on Tuesday with members hailing from the medical fraternity cutting across party lines arguing for structural reforms in medical education in the country during the discussion on the National Medical Council Bill. The House later passed the Bill which proposes constituting a 12-member Governing Body in place of the Medical Council of India (MCI).
BJP MP Dr Subhash Bhamre, an oncologist by profession, sought the government’s intervention in reforming medical education, while alleging that corruption in MCI has made the allocation of seats biased in favour of privately-run institutions. “I represent Dhule Parliamentary constituency. The private medical college there has been allocated 150 (MBBS) seats despite lacking in patients. In contrast, the government medical college was allocated just 50 seats despite being full of patients. In medical education, experience counts but corruption in MCI is perpetuating a situation where private institutions, without being able to give exposure to students, are sanctioned more seats,” said Bhamre.
Earlier, Union Minister for Health and Family welfare Dr Hash Vardhan, while introducing the Bill, said it was the need of the hour since the MCI’s functioning had lead to perception that it was full of corruption. He said the Bill would ensure transparency and accountability in medical education.
Shiv Sena MP Dr Shrikant Eknath Shinde made an emotional pitch against rising incidents of violence against doctors and expressed fear that the bridge course proposed under the Bill for traditional health practitioners would further lead to such incidents. He said foreign-educated doctors should be entrusted with rural postings.
BJD’s Anubhav Mohanty asked why the government wanted bureaucrats in the governing body while YSR Congress MP Dr Sanjeev Kumar Singari said the MCI was an elected body but the proposed body would be nominated by the government. SP’s Azam Khan, who is the patron of a hospital in Rampur, suggested that the norms on faculty be relaxed while giving recognition to a medical college.