New Delhi: Putting into effect the 'historic reforms' in the field of medical education, the Union government has set up the National Medical Commission (NMC) along with four other autonomous boards while abolishing the MCI.
The Undergraduate and Postgraduate Medical Education Boards, Medical Assessment and Rating Board, and Ethics and Medical Registration Board have been constituted to help the NMC in day-to-day functioning. The four boards come into existence with effect from Friday. The decades-old Medical Council of India (MCI) stands abolished.
The reforms are aimed to steer the country's medical education towards a transparent, qualitative and accountable system. The basic change is that the regulator is now 'selected' on merit, as opposed to an 'elected' regulator.
Men and women with impeccable integrity, professionalism, experience, and stature have now been placed at the helm to steer the medical education reforms further. The notifications in this regard were issued on September 24.
Dr SC Sharma (retired Professor of ENT Department, AIIMS, Delhi) has been selected as the NMC Chairperson for three years. The NMC will also have 10 ex-officio members, including Presidents of the four autonomous boards; Dr Jagat Ram, Director of PGIMER, Chandigarh; Dr Rajendra A Badwe, Tata Memorial Hospital, Mumbai; and Dr Surekha Kishore, Executive Director, AIIMS, Gorakhpur.
In addition, the NMC will have 10 nominees from among Vice Chancellors of Health Universities from states/UTs, 9 nominees from state Medical Councils, and three expert members from diverse professions.
Dr Smita Kolhe, a social worker working in the tribal Melaghat area of Maharashtra, and Santosh Kumar Kraleti, CEO, Foot Soldiers for Health Pvt Ltd, have been nominated as expert members. Dr RK Vats will head the Secretariat as NMC Secretary.
The NMC will carry forward the reforms initiated by the Board of Governors under Dr VK Paul. Already, the number of MBBS seats has increased over the last six years by 48% -- from around 54,000 in 2014 to 80,000 in 2020. The PG seats too have increased by 79% -- from 24,000 to 54,000 in the same duration.
The NMC's key functions include further streamlining of regulations, ratings of institutions, HR assessment, and focus on research.
Besides, it will work on the modalities of a common final-year exam after MBBS (NEXT- National Exit Test) to serve for both registration and PG entrance, prepare guidelines for fee regulation by private medical colleges, and developing standards for Community Health Providers to serve in primary healthcare with a limited licence for practice.
It may be recalled that the National Medical Commission Act, 2019 was passed by Parliament in August, 2019. With the coming into effect of the NMC Act from September 25, 2020, the Indian Medical Council Act, 1956 stands repealed and the Board of Governors appointed in supersession of the MCI has also been dissolved with effect from the said date.