NEW DELHI: The Union cabinet on Wednesday approved the National Medical Commission bill that seeks to replace the apex medical education regulator Medical Council of India with a 25-member commission.
The amended version of the bill says that there will be no separate licentiate examination and the final year MBBS Examination will be held as a common exam across the country would serve as an exit test called the National Exit Test (NEXT).
The new bill has also dropped the controversial bridge course that would have allowed alternate medicine doctors to double up as practitioners of modern medicine. It has now been left to the state governments to take necessary measures for addressing and promoting primary health care in rural areas.
The NMC will also have 6 instead of 3 representatives from states and the total number of doctors in the commission will stand at 21.
The commission, will also regulate fee structure of 50 percent, instead of 40 per cent seats in private medical colleges and deemed universities.
The amendment to the NMC Bill comes in the backdrop of its consideration in the Lok Sabha on January 2 and subsequently being referred to the department related parliamentary standing committee.
“The Government has considered the recommendations made by the Standing Committee in its report tabled in the House on 20.03.2018 and general feedback, particularly the views of medical students and practitioners regarding certain provisions of the bill,” a statement by the government said.
The changed bill will also see a monetary penalty for a medical college non-compliant with the norms, replaced with provision for different penalty options and stringent punishment for unqualified medical practitioners or quacks.
Quacks, says the bill, can be jailed for up to one year along with a fine of Rs 5 lakh.
The original version of the bill had faced strong protests from doctors across India on several provisions.