The Union Cabinet on March 28, 2017 approved the official amendments to the National Medical Commission (NMC) Bill.
Earlier, the Lok Sabha referred the NMC Bill to the Department Related Parliamentary Standing Committee (DRPSC) for proposing amendments to it.
The Standing Committee suggested few amendments in its report that was tabled in the parliament on March 20, 2018. After a thorough evaluation, the Union Government approved the following amendments:
National Exit Test (NEXT)
The final MBBS Examination will now be held as a common exam across the country and will serve as an exit test called the National Exit Test (NEXT):
Hence, the students would not have to appear in a separate exam after MBBS to get license to practice. The National Exit Test would also serve as the screening test for doctors with foreign medical qualifications in order to practice in India.
Removal of provision of Bridge course for AYUSH practitioners to practice modern medicine
The amendments remove the provision dealing with bridge course for AYUSH practitioners to practice modern medicine to a limited extent.
Now, it is up to the State Governments to take necessary measures for addressing and promoting primary health care in rural areas.
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Earlier, there was fee regulation for a maximum limit of 40 percent seats in private medical institutions and deemed universities.
As per the amendment to the bill, the fee will now be regulated for 50 percent seats. Moreover, the fee would also include all other charges taken by the colleges.
Increase in number of nominees from States and UTs to 6
Considering the demands from States to increase their representation in the National Medical Commission, the nominees of States and UTs in the NMC have been increased from 3 to 6.
The NMC will comprise of 25 members, of which at least 21 will be doctors.
Provision for diverse penalty options
The provision of monetary penalty on a medical college non-compliant with the norms has now been replaced with a provision which provides different penalties options.
These penalty options are warning, reasonable monetary penalty, reducing intake, stoppage of admission leading up to withdrawal of recognition.
Rigid punishment for unqualified medical practitioners
Considering the quality and safety of health care being made available to the citizens, the government will now act strictly against unqualified practitioners or quacks.
The punishment for any unauthorized practice of medicine has been made severe by including a provision for imprisonment of up to one year along with a fine up to Rs 5 lakhs.
Who: Union Cabinet