A five and half year medical degree won’t be enough for doctors to practice now. The Modi government has cleared the ambitious National Medical Commission (NMC) Bill that has paved the way for the exit exam for medical graduates. This move has ended the era of Medical Council of India (MCI) as the apex medical education regulator. The National Medical Commission Bill seeks to develop the medical sector in many ways and proposes for the first time an exit exam for MBBS graduates who would have to clear this test to get practising licences.
As per The Indian Express, the Bill also provides for the introduction of the examination within three years of its passage by Parliament. Such a move would make the medical sector the first in the country’s higher education system to have a common entrance test (National Eligibility cum Entrance Test), counselling and exit examination. According to the Bill, a 25-member commission selected by a search committee headed by the Union Cabinet Secretary will replace the elected MCI. The bill subjects to annual inspections on physical, infrastructural and bed-patient norms.
In the recent years, there have been allegations of corruption in MCI. But, under the NMC Bill, if a college is found to be in violation of norms, such as those governing teachers, laboratories, patients, etc., it can be fined sums ranging from half of the cumulative fees it charges from students to 10 times that amount. MCI’s annual inspections being accused of being “random” and susceptible to corruption. Private medical colleges have many times challenged MCI decisions in court and role of judges has also been under the scanner. Sources say that the exit examination will have a greater advantage in the performance of medical graduates as well as colleges. “Once the licentiate (exit) examination starts, the performance of students would be an automatic system for rating colleges”, said a source.
As per an IE report, the ex-officio members of the NMC will include the director of AIIMS, New Delhi; Director General of Health Services; and nominees of PGI Chandigarh, JIPMER Puducherry, TMCH Mumbai, and NEIGRIHMS Shillong. The 64-member medical advisory council will have one member from each state and Union Territory (nominated by the Home Ministry); chairman UGC; director NAAC, etc. There will be four boards under the NMC for UG and PG medical education, ethics, ratings and assessment.