The much awaited report of the parliamentary standing committee on health has finally been submitted to the union government. The 140 page report has been prepared after taking into account the versions of all the relevant stakeholders.
In the past, three month since the first draft of the proposed National Medical Commission Bill, was tabled in the parliament, doctors from across the country had raised their arms against the government. Doctors have launched their nation-wide protest and are going to hold a massive protest in Delhi on March 25.
The parliamentary panel, standing committee on health has agreed to three major demands of the doctors and has given recommendations to the government on various other issues.
Important highlights of the report of parliamentary committee
- The committee is of the view that the bridge course should not be made a mandatory provision in the present bill
- National Licentiate Examination (NLE) will put undue stress on students, especially those who come from backward sections of the society and states, who cannot afford private guidance/tuitions for NLE and may not be able to crack the Multiple Choice Questions (MCQs). Licentiate examination be integrated with the final year MBBS examination and be conducted at the state level.
- Total strength of the commission to be increased from 25 members to 29 members. The committee also recommends that out of these 29 members, besides chairperson of the commission, 6 members should be ex officio members, 9 should be elected by registered medical practitioners from amongst themselves, 10 members should be from amongst the nominees of the states and union territories
- The existing fee regulatory mechanism for private medical colleges by the states to protect their rights to regulate fees should not be diluted.
- The Committee recommends that the Diplomate of National Board, granted by the National Board of Examinations, in broad specialty course and super-specialty course shall be equal in all respects to the post-graduate qualification and the super-specialty qualification, respectively, as granted under this Act
- All the Members of the National Medical Commission be required to mandatorily declare their professional and commercial involvements and should also declare their personal assets along with assets of their dependents on the website of NMC.
While speaking to My Medical Mantra, Dr Shrikant Shinde, member of the standing committee on health and Shiv Sena MP said, “The committee has submitted its report to the government. We have given certain recommendation regarding the bridge course, exit exam and number of constitution members. Now the report will be put before the cabinet for approval. And once the cabinet approves it, it will be tabled in the parliament for discussion.”
Dr Kailesh Sharma, Director Academics, Tata Memorial centre said, “The earlier draft of the NMC bill, had representatives of AIIMS, TATA, PGI Chandigarh, PJIPMER Puducherry which are premier institutes in India. But, the standing committee which submitted its report, while increasing the elected representatives from 5 to 9 deleted the earlier nominated members.”
Dr Sharma is former member of the Board of Governors, Medical Council of India.
Though the standing committee on health has accepted the major demands of the allopathy doctors, IMA is still firm to continue with their agitation. Dr Shivkumar Utture, President of the Maharashtra Medical Council said, “We have started our agitation as the NMC Bill is not conducive for the doctors to work. Though they have partially agreed to our demands, we are not completely satisfied with it. The standing committee has given their recommendation to the government, now it’s up to the government. So, we are firm to continue with our agitation.”
After the NMC bill was introduced, doctors went on strike. Owing to which government had sent it to the standing committee.