New Delhi: The parliamentary panel, which had been given the mandate to examine the National Medical Council Bill and propose changes while incorporating the opinion of stakeholders has put forward a new Structure for the National Medical Commission
Accepting the demands of the medical fraternity of greater representation of doctors in the commission, the panel has suggested the following changes from the original composition of the commission
- Increase in the total number of members from 25 to 29
- Earlier, the draft called for 12 ex-officio members besides the Chairperson and the Secretary.- Now the modified structure states that there will 6 ex-officio members besides the Chairperson.
- Instead of 5 members, the commission is now going to have 9 members elected by registered medical practitioners from amongst themselves
- There will 10 members from amongst the nominees of the States and Union Territories
- As before, there will be 3 part-time members appointed from amongst person having special knowledge and professional experience
Medical Dialogues team had earlier reported that the medical fraternity had completely rejected the earlier composition of the bill, demanding more representation in the commission. On similar lines, even the state governments had demanded a wider representation in the commission.
Committee observations/ Recommendations
The Committee held detailed discussion on this clause. It has received various suggestions not only to increase the strength of the Commission but also to increase the representation of States/UTs in the Commission. On this issue, it observes that three members to be appointed as part time Members of the Commission on rotational basis from amongst the nominees of the States and Union Territories in the Medical Advisory Council for a term of two years, is too small a number to have an effective participation of the States/UTs in the Commission. The Committee also observes that the strength of the Commission should be increased for its effective functioning. The Committee further notes that the uneven composition of the Commission wherein 80% of its members are nominated as out of 25 members only 5 will be elected members reflects lack of proper representation of elected medical professionals in the composition of the Commission.
4.4.5 The Committee, therefore, keeping in view the representative and federal character of the country, recommends that the total strength of the Commission be increased from 25 members to 29 members. The Committee also recommends that out of these 29 members, besides Chairperson of the Commission, 6 members should be ex officio members, 9 should be elected by registered medical practitioners from amongst themselves, 10 members should be from amongst the nominees of the States and Union Territories besides 3 part-time members appointed from amongst person having special knowledge and professional experience as mentioned in the clause 4(4)(a). The Committee would like that the electoral college for the members to be elected by the medical practitioners must be well defined in the Bill itself.
4.4.6 The Committee also recommends that the ex officio Member Secretary of the Commission should assist the Commission as its Secretary and shall not be a Member of the Commission.
4.4.7 In view of the above, the Committee recommends the composition of the Commission as under:-
(a) a Chairperson;
(b) six ex officio Members; and
(c) twenty two part-time Members.
4.4.8 Further, the Committee recommends following six persons as the ex officio Members of the Commission, namely:-
(a) the President of the Under-Graduate Medical Education Board;
(b) the President of the Post-Graduate Medical Education Board;
(c) the President of the Medical Assessment and Rating Board;
(d) the Director General of Health Services, Directorate General of Health Services, New Delhi
(e) the Director General, Indian Council of Medical Research;
(f) one person to represent the Ministry of the Central Government dealing with Health and Family Welfare, not below the rank of Secretary/Additional Secretary to the Government of India, to be nominated by that Ministry.
4.4.9 The Committee also recommends that the following twenty two persons shall be appointed as part-time Members of the Commission, namely:—
(a) three Members to be appointed from three different fields amongst persons of ability, integrity and standing, who have special knowledge and professional experience in such areas including management, law, medical ethics, health research, patient rights advocacy, science and technology and economics;
(b) ten Members to be appointed on rotational basis from amongst the nominees of the States and Union Territories in the Medical Advisory Council for a term of two years in such manner as may be prescribed;
(c) nine Members to be elected by the registered medical practitioners from amongst themselves from such regional constituencies, and in such manner, as may be prescribed.
Regarding the appointment of the chairperson, the Committee recommended that clause 4(2) wherein the requisite qualifications for the Chairperson of the Commission are prescribed may be amended as follows:-
‘The Chairperson shall be a medical professional of outstanding ability, proven administrative capacity and integrity, possessing a recognized postgraduate degree in any discipline of medical sciences and having experience of not less than twenty years in the field of medical sciences, out of which at least ten years shall be as a leader in the area of medical education.’
Subject to the above recommendations, the clause has now been adopted