ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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National Medical Commission Bill, 2017

A Shattered Hope?

National Medical Commission Bill, 2017

The National Medical Commission Bill, 2017, which aims to overhaul medical education in India and replace the 83-year-old Medical Council of India with a government-appointed NMC, has several worrying features. While the long-term implications of the bill have not been satisfactorily debated and addressed, the bill itself is in danger of causing similar or even worse outcomes than the previous MCI Act. The NMC Bill remains a questionable remedy, and it has drawn criticism from several quarters, including the country’s medical fraternity.

Following disagreement, the Lok Sabha has decided to send the draft of the National Medical Commission Bill (2017) to the Parliamentary Standing Committee (PSC) on Health for review. The draft bill, which was introduced by Minister of Health and Family Welfare J P Nadda in the Lok Sabha on 29 December 2017, and in the Rajya Sabha on 2 January 2018, seeks to repeal the Indian Medical Council Act, 1956, and paves the way for setting up a National Medical Commission (NMC) that would replace the Medical Council of India (MCI). In protest, the Indian Medical Association (IMA) observed a “black day” on 2 January, calling the bill draconian, undemocratic, unrepresentative, and contrary to the federal polity of the Constitution (ANI 2018). On the day, around 2.9 lakh doctors across the country held a 12-hour strike. In his media briefing, K K Aggarwal, former president of the IMA, said that their next step would be to convince the standing committee of the many flaws in the bill (Koshy 2018).

This article briefly deals with some of the major flaws of the bill.

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Updated On : 24th Jun, 2020


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