National Medical Commission (NMC) Act 2019 | UPSC

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National Medical Commission (NMC) Act 2019 | UPSC

National Medical Commission (NMC) Act 2019 | UPSC

      HEADLINES:

Historic reform in Medical Education: National Medical Commission (NMC) constituted

      WHY IN NEWS:

Medical Council of India (MCI) stands abolished

MINISTRY? :-Ministry of Health and Family Welfare
SYLLABUS COVERED: GS 2 : Governance

      LEARNING: 

For PRELIMS go through members and composition . Structure and hierarchy is important here .

For MAINS we will cover this issue in our Editorial Hunts . This article does not include criticism . Let us dive in !

      ISSUE: 

NATIONAL MEDICAL COMMISSION

  • Historic reform in the field of medical education has been effected by the Union Government.
  • The new law constitutes National Medical Commission (NMC), along with four Autonomous Boards.

With this, the decades old institution of the Medical Council of India (MCI) stands abolished.

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Along with NMC, the four Autonomous Boards of UG and PG Medical Education Boards, Medical Assessment and Rating Board, and Ethics and Medical Registration Board have also been constituted.
  • This historic reform will steer medical education towards a transparent, qualitative and accountable system.

The basic change that has happened is that the Regulator is now ‘selected’ on merits, as opposed to an ‘elected’ Regulator.

  • Men and Women with impeccable integrity, professionalism, experience and stature have been now placed at the helm to steer the medical education reforms further.
  • Dr S C Sharma (retd. Prof, ENT, AIIMS, Delhi) has been selected as the Chairperson for a period of three years.

Besides the Chairperson, NMC will have 10 ex-officio members that include Presidents of the four Autonomous Boards.

  • In addition, NMC will have 10 nominees from Vice Chancellors of Health Universities from States/UTs,
  • 9 nominees from State Medical Councils, and three expert members from diverse professions.
  • Already, number of MBBS seats has increased over the last six years by 48% from around 54000 in 2014 to 80,000 in 2020.
  • The PG seats have increased by 79% from 24000 to 54000 in the same duration.

The key functions of the NMC will be further streamlining regulations, rating of institutions, HR assessment, focus on research.

NATIONAL MEDICAL COMMISSION (NMC) ACT 2019

FUNCTIONS OF THE NMC

(i) Laying down policies for regulating medical institutions and medical professionals

(ii) Assessing the requirements of human resources and infrastructure in healthcare

(iii) Ensuring compliance by the State Medical Councils with the regulations made under the Bill, and

(iv) Framing guidelines for determination of fee for up to 50% of the seats in the private medical institutions.

MEMBERS

The NMC will consist of 25 members, including:

(i) Director Generals of the Directorate General of Health Services and the Indian Council of Medical Research

(ii) Director of any of the AIIMS

(iii) Five members (part-time) to be elected by the registered medical practitioners, and

(iv) Six members appointed on rotational basis from amongst the nominees of the states in the Medical Advisory Council.

Of these 25 members, at least 15 (60%) are medical practitioners.

REGULATORY BODIES UNDER NMC

  • The Act sets up four autonomous boards under the supervision of the NMC.

Each board will consist of a President and four members (of which two members will be part-time), appointed by the central government . 

These bodies are:

  • UGMEB AND PGMEB : The Under-Graduate Medical Education Board (UGMEB) Post-Graduate Medical Education Board (PGMEB) will be responsible for formulating standards, curriculum, guidelines for medical education, and granting recognition to medical qualifications at the under-graduate and post-graduate levels respectively.
  • THE MEDICAL ASSESSMENT AND RATING BOARD : The Board will have the power to levy monetary penalties on institutions which fail to maintain the minimum standards as laid down by the UGMEB and the PGMEB.
  • THE ETHICS AND MEDICAL REGISTRATION BOARD : This Board will maintain a National Register of all the licensed medical practitioners in the country, and also regulate professional and medical conduct.

ISSUES RELATED TO MEDICAL MISCONDUCT

  • The State Medical Council will receive complaints relating to professional or ethical misconduct against a registered medical practitioner.
  • If the medical practitioner is aggrieved of a decision of the State Medical Council, he may appeal to the Ethics and Medical Registration Board. 

If the medical practitioner is aggrieved of the decision of the Board, he can approach the NMC to appeal against the decision. 

  • It is unclear why the NMC is an appellate authority with regard to matters related to professional or ethical misconduct of medical practitioners. 
  • It may be argued that disputes related to ethics and misconduct in medical practice may require judicial expertise.

      IASbhai WINDUP: 

NMC VS COMMUNITY HEALTH PROVIDERS

  • According to the World Health Organisation, a healthy doctor-patient ratio is 1:1,000. In India, the ratio is 1:1,674.
  • To fill in the gaps of availability of medical professionals, NMC grants limited license to certain mid-level practitioners called community health providers.

These mid-level medical practitioners may prescribe specified medicines in primary and preventive healthcare

  • However, in any other cases, these practitioners may only prescribe medicine under the supervision of a registered medical practitioner.
  • This is similar to other countries where medical professionals other than doctors are allowed to prescribe allopathic medicine. 
     SOURCES:THE HINDU & PIB | National Medical Commission (NMC) Act 2019 | UPSC

DISCOVER MORE : GS-2

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