IMA gears up to fight the NMC Bill

Rajya Sabha secretariat has published the notification regarding National Medical Council Bill. The RS department related standing committee has asked to send comments on the bill. The Indian Medical Association (IMA) has decided to invite suggestion/comments from individual/organisations on the Bill

NMC Bill

  • The National Medical Commission (NMC) Bill, 2017, which was approved by the Union Cabinet on December 18, is to set up a new and transparent system of regulating healthcare. 
  • However, Indian Medical Association (IMA) opposes the bill. It says that the newly introduced bill is flawed then the old one.
  • Informing about the government’s decision in the Lok Sabha, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ananth Kumar said, “Those who opposed the bill demanded that the bill should be sent to the standing committee. The government is ready to send the bill to the standing committee. I would request the speaker to ask the standing committee to give their recommendations before the budget session.”
  • “This is the second time that the bill is being sent to the standing committee. So, the standing committee should give the recommendations before the budget session,” said the Lok Sabha speaker Sumitra Mahajan.
  • Indian Medical Association Maharashtra State had declared January 2 2018 as Black Day for the medical practitioners. Considering the wider implications of the proposed legislation on the regulatory oversight of the medical education in the country and for an in-depth study of the Bill, the committee has decided to invite suggestion/comments from individual/organisations on the Bill.

The Indian Medical Association (IMA) gears up to fight the  NMC Bill after Rajya Sabha Secretariat issues notification and seeks response on the Bill. IMA has issued a circular to all its members to respond to the notification in large number.

Dr KK Agarwal, immediate past national president IMA, said, “The purpose of NMC bill is to change Medical Council of India. But, the current bill is not serving the required purpose. We are opposing the bill in the current form. We will submit all our objections to RS.”

Dr Prakash Marathe, IMA President Pune, said, “It marginalises State representation and infringes the federalism. It is not conducive in the fair and legitimate interests of those who belong to backward communities. We will submit all the objections to RS.”

IMA had raised following objections over the bill:

  1. NMC is a pro-private management Bill paving the way for widespread corruption. It removes all the regulations required to start a medical college. Under this Bill, no one needs any permission to start a medical college. Also, any private medical college can increase its UG/PG seats by itself.
  2. Only upto 40% of seats in a private medical college can be regulated by the Government. For 60% or more seats the private colleges will fix the rates which means that the poor students from SC/ST classes will be deprived of medical education.
  3. Huge loopholes in financial penalties ranging from 5 crores to 100 crores opening the floodgates of corruption.
  4. Medical Education in the country will become expensive placing the lower socio economic groups in great disadvantage.
  5. Only 5 States will be represented in NMC at any point of time. The other 24 will be unrepresented thereby denying them their privileges.
  6. The State Medical Councils which are sovereign bodies through enactment of State legislatures, will come directly under NMC.
  7. The Medical Universities do not have a representation in NMC. One per state will be represented in an advisory body called Medical Advisory Council.
  8. A Medical Bill like NMC without the concurrence of the Medical Profession & Medical Association, will be a disaster.
  9. This Bill is anti-people since it is pro-rich and pro-private managements. The cost of medical education and healthcare will rise astronomically.
  10. It is anti-patient since it permits & promotes unscientific mixing of systems of medicine. It closes the gates for Indian Medical Graduates while it opens the gates for foreign doctors and foreign educated medical graduates.