Rajya Sabha takes up NMC Bill

New Delhi: The National Medical Commission (NMC) Bill, 2019 is the biggest reform in the field of medical education in the past two or three decades, the Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan said in the Rajya Sabha on Thursday where the bill is under consideration.

“I can say with utmost confidence and sincerity the NMC Bill which has already been passed by Lok Sabha is the biggest reform in recent time in the field of medical education brought by the blessing of Prime Minister Narendra Modi,” the health minister said.

“This Bill is aimed at the rapid expansion of medical seats while maintaining the quality of medical education and reducing cost. The need is to spur investment in education by simplifying procedures and focus on outcomes,” he added.

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On July 29, the Lok Sabha had passed the NMC Bill which seeks to create National Medical Commission in place of Medical Council of India (MCI) with Health Minister Harsh Vardhan terming it as an “anti-vested interests Bill” which will be remembered as one of the greatest reforms brought by the Modi government.

Opposing the Bill Congress MP Jairam Ramesh said, “Health is a state subject, 75 percent of the health expenditure is done by the state government and the center wants to control that.”

Ramesh also raised the question of whether the Exit Exam proposed in the NMC Bill will be a test of theoretical knowledge or that of a clinical capability as well.

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“Medical is not engineering. There has to be a clinical component,” he said.

The NMC Bill provides for the repeal of the Indian Medical Council Act 1956.

The Bill provides that the common final year MBBS exam be known as National Exit Test (NEXT) which would serve as a licentiate exam for entrance to post-graduate medical courses and as a screening test for foreign medical graduates.

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