NATIONAL MEDICAL COMMISSION

GS 2- GOVERNANCE Issues relating to development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health

Introduction 

National Medical Commission (NMC) is an Indian regulatory body of 33 members which regulates medical education and medical professionals.

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Contemporary News:

  • National Medical Commission (NMC) has come into being from 25 September.
  • The six-decade-old Indian Medical Council Act 1956 has been repealed.
  • Four autonomous boards under the NMC Act—
    • The Under-Graduate Medical Education Board (UGMEB)
    • The Post-Graduate Medical Education Board (PGMEB)
    • The Medical Assessment and Rating Board
    • The Ethics and Medical Registration Board.   
      • Each board will consist of a President and four members.
      • of which two members will be part-time.
      • appointed by the central government.
      • on the recommendation of a search committee.

Reason:

  • Medical Council of India has repeatedly been found short of fulfilling its mandated responsibilities.
  • Quality of medical education is at its lowest ebb
    • current model of medical education is not producing the right type of health professionals.
    • because medical education and curricula are not integrated with the needs of our health system.
  • Instances of unethical practice continue to grow due to which respect for the profession has dwindled.
  • Lack competence in performing basic health care tasks like conducting normal deliveries.

Ministry is not empowered to remove or sanction a Member of the Council even if he has been proved corrupt.

Comparison:

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Medical Education:

  • Equity in accessing medical education is of vital importance.
    • While public institutions substantially subsidise medical education.
    • the NMC will determine fees for a percentage of the seats in private medical colleges and deemed universities.
    • move will broaden the opportunity for students from all sections of the society to undertake medical education.
      • is important since it is growing more expensive with every passing year.
      • rising fees, expensive books and equipment become a barrier for several deserving students.
  • Social responsibility and empathy for fellow humans
    • are vital traits for any doctor.
    • presence/absence of a paying capacity should not be a determinant for enrolling in an educational programme.
    • open doors for those who want to pursue a career in medicine.

Guidelines for doctors to practice medicine:

  • There will be a uniform National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test.
    • for admission to under-graduate,post-graduate and super-speciality medical education.
  • Introduces a common final year undergraduate examination called the National Exit Test.
    • to obtain the license for practice.
    • also serve as the basis for admission into post-graduate courses.
  • Foreign medical practitioners may be permitted temporary registration to practice in India.

Bill regulations:

  • January 2018, the doctor to population ratio in India was 1:1655.
    • compared to the World Health Organisation standard of 1:1000.
  • To fill in the gaps of availability of medical professionals, it provides for the NMC.
  • To grant limited license to certain mid-level practitioners called community health providers.
  • Mid-level medical practitioners may prescribe specified medicines in primary and preventive healthcare. 
    • in other cases, may only prescribe medicine under the supervision of a registered medical practitioner.
    • is similar to other countries where medical professionals other than doctors are allowed to prescribe allopathic medicine.Eg:-
      • Nurse Practitioners in the USA provide a full range of primary,acute, and specialty health care services
      • including ordering and performing diagnostic tests and prescribing medications.
      • (Nurse Practitioners must complete a master’s or doctoral degree program-advanced clinical training, and obtain a national certification.)

Significance:

  • Seeks to regulate medical education and practice in India.
    • composition
    • allegations of corruption
    • lack of accountability.
  • Attempts to tackle two main things on quality and quantity.
  • to tackle Corruption in medical education and shortage of medical professionals.
  • In 2009, the Yashpal Committee and the National Knowledge Commission recommended separating the regulation of medical education and medical practice.
  • The Mudliar Committee Report (1959) pointed out that doctors had neither the skills nor the knowledge to handle primary care and infectious diseases that were a high priority concern at the time.
  • Medical education has to keep pace with these rapid developments.

Conclusion 

       The aspirations of an emergent India introduce an urgency to manage medical systems optimally. The NMC Act is not a matter of choice, but an imperative in the national interest.

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