President Ram Nath Kovind has given his assent to the National Medical Commission Bill, 2019, which was passed by both Houses of Parliament, Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan said on Thursday, 8 August.
"It will be notified in the Gazette soon. After that, rules will framed and the NMC will be constituted subsequently. All these will be done within six months," Vardhan said.
"It is a huge and visionary reform in the medical education sector by the NDA government under the leadership of our visionary Prime Minister Narendra Modi-ji, and will prove to be a milestone in the years to come," he said.
The minister said it is a progressive legislation which will reduce the burden on students, ensure probity in medical education, bring down costs of medical education, simplify procedures, ensure quality education, and provide wider access to people to quality healthcare.
"“It is a game-changing reform of transformational nature. There have been protests by medical students and residents doctors and (I) have cleared their doubts and addressed all their queries. I am sure that under the NMC, medical education in the country will attain its zenith in the years to come.”" - Harsh Vardhan
The NMC will be an overarching body, which will frame policies and coordinate activities of four autonomous boards.
The NMC Act will repeal the Indian Medical Council Act 1956.
The legislation provides for a common entrance examination for MBBS along with common counseling for all medical institutions in the country.
"“This provision will prevent seat blocking in parallel counseling processes and will eliminate the need for students to approach multiple colleges and take part in multiple counseling processes for admission. This will save students and their families from unnecessary physical and financial trauma.”"
Elaborating on some of the concerns voiced against the Bill, the minister said, "There are some apprehensions about NMC being dominated by central government nominees. This is not true. There will be 10 vice chancellors of state health universities and nine elected members of State Medical Councils in the NMC." "Thus 19 out of 33 members, which is more than half of the total strength, would be from the states and only a minority of members will be appointed by the central government thereby ensuring that the NMC is representative, inclusive and respecting the federal structure of Indian polity," he added.
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