Medical Council may be replaced by National Medical Commission
A high-level committee headed by Niti Aayog Vice Chairman Arvind Panagariya is proposing the scrapping of Medical Council of India (MCI) and replacing it with the National Medical Commission (NMC).
Besides Panagariya, the panel, which is looking into the issue of poor regulation of medical education by MCI, includes Prime Minister’s Additional Principal Secretary PK Mishra, Niti Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant and Health Secretary Bhahanu Pratap Sharma.
“The committee has firmed up its decision to scrap the MCI and replace it with the NMC, which will take over all its responsibilities. The main objective behind this is to end the inspector raj in the medical field in the country,” a senior government official said.
NMC will become the main regulatory body and will take over all roles and responsibilities of the MCI, he said.
Another important aspect is that the new body will have eminent doctors and experts from related fields to suggest the direction that should be given to medical education in the country so as to ensure that the quality of education is at par with global standards, the official added.
“The committee met for numerous times and held detailed discussions on how to create a world-class professional structure of the new body. Consultations were held with a lot of eminent doctors, office holders of the MCI, former Health Secretaries and medical officers from the states,” he said.
Confirming the development, another senior government official said that the work on the restructuring is “more than half way through” on the draft. The biggest change will be that in the existing MCI, the members are elected and it has created the biggest problem as eminent doctors did not get a chance to participate in workings of the MCI, the official said.
Another suggestion that the high-level panel is making is that the regulators in the new body will be selected and will not be elected. This selection will be done by a high level Search-cum-Selection committee, which will be a transparent process and will work on bringing the best.
NMC will have around 19-20 members and their tenure will be about five years. It will also have members from other fields such as economics, law, etc in a bid to inculcate more professionalism in the body, he said. “It will have a chairman as well as there will be four Boards — Under Graduate Medical Board, Post Graduate Medical Board, Accreditation and Assessment Board and a board for registration of medical colleges as well monitoring of the ethics in the profession,” the official said. These Boards will be given autonomy and they will work on the fields for which they are formed.
After MCI, Niti Aayog to work on restructuring of UGC, AICTE
Government think tank Niti Aayog, which is at present working on restricting the Medical Council of India (MCI), has also been entrusted with the task of preparing a similar road map for the UGC and the AICTE.
“Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) has directed Niti Aayog to also work on restructuring the University Grants Commission (UGC), the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) as well a board looking after Homeopathy and Ayurvedic education in the country,” a senior government official said.
This is on the same lines as that of the restructuring strategy for the MCI, he added.
“The general consensus is that these organisation are needed to be made more relevant to the changing times today. Also it is felt that there is a need to make them more performance-oriented so that the quality of education also improves,” the official said.