New Delhi: A government-appointed committee has proposed a new structure of medical education and practice that would also provide for entry of ‘for-profit’ entities and replacing widely criticised Medical Council of India with the National Medical Commission.

The draft National Medical Commission Bill, 2016, on which the four-member panel is seeking public comments, has also suggested a uniform National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test (NEET) for admissions to under-graduate medical colleges.

The committee, headed by NITI Aayog vice chairman Arvind Panagariya, has completed the first stage of the work and has sought public opinion on its preliminary report and the draft bill by the month end.

According to an Aayog’s statement, it has sought comments of general public on reform of the Indian Medical Council Act, 1956 and the National Medical Commission Bill, 2016 which seek to replace the existing legislation.

The committee has also recommended ‘for-profit’ organisations to be permitted to establish medical colleges. The bill also said that regulators of the highest standards of professional integrity and excellence must be appointed through an independent and a transparent selection process by a broad-based Search cum Selection Committee.

A new Institutional Architecture for Regulation has been suggested in the bill with a Medical Advisory Council (MAC) having representation from the states and Union Territories (UTs) to articulate the national agenda for medical education.

It also provides for National Medical Commission(NMC), which is to serve as the policy-making body for medical education. The structure also provides for four autonomous boards for under graduate medical education, post graduate medical education, medical assessment and rating and registration and ethics.

The statement said that since it has been felt that the input based regulatory philosophy underlying the current MCI has turned into a high entry barrier, the NMC regulation is to be overwhelmingly based on outcomes rather than inputs.

The committee has proposed periodic publication of ratings of medical institutions. It has also proposed that NMC be empowered to fix norms for regulating fees for a proportion of seats in private medical colleges while allowing the promoters to fix the fees for the remainder of seats transparently.

No fees other than clearly announced on the website of the college should be permitted. The committee proposed to provide a statutory basis for common entrance examination for admissions to under-graduate and post-graduate courses in medical institutions and a Common Licentiate Examination for practice by medical professionals after completion of the undergraduate medical degree.

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