New Delhi: Addressing fear and doubt over certain provisions in the National Medical Commission Bill, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that the new legislation will ensure transparency, accountability and quality in governance of medical education in the country.
“At a time when nations are looking at India to power the next wave of growth in the world, we realise that this can happen only with a healthy populace. Freeing the poor from the vicious cycle of poverty that lack of health perpetuates is very important. The NMC serves this purpose well too. It will ensure transparency, accountability and quality in the governance of medical education in the country," PM Modi said in an interview to new agency IANS.
He asserted that the new legislation will also reduce burden on students, reduce cost of medical education and increase the number of medical seats.
“This means more talented youth can take up medicine as a profession and this will help us increase the number of medical professionals," Modi said in the interview.
While reiterating benefit of the flagship ‘Ayushman Bharat’ scheme and expansion of the medical college networks, he said the union government is working to ensure that there is at least one medical college in every three districts.
With rising awareness about healthcare, rising incomes and greater focus on aspirational goals among people, we will need thousands and thousands of doctors to fulfil the demand, especially in rural and urban areas, he said.
“The NMC seeks to address these issues for a better outcome for all stakeholders. You must have also read that the academic year 2019-20 will see the biggest addition of medical seats in government colleges in a single year with the creation of around 2 dozen new government medical colleges. Our roadmap is clear – a transparent, accessible and affordable medical education system leading to better healthcare outcomes." PM Modi added.
Elaborating on the NMC Bill, the OPM said “earlier governments too had given a thought to reforming this sector but could not go through with it. We decided to go through with it because this is not a matter that can be taken lightly, as it concerns the health of our people and future of our youth".
The NMC Bill proposes to repeal the Indian Medical Council Act, 1956. As per the Bill, a national medical commission will be set up in place of MCI that will have responsibilities such as approving and assessing medical colleges, conducting common MBBS entrance and exit examinations and regulating medical course fees.
A provision in the bill for introducing a bridge course to make some eligible for practicing as community health providers has attracted criticism from doctors. A segment of doctors’ fraternity protested for about four days last week, underlining that the provision will encourage quackery by providing licence to practice modern medicine to persons other than those possessing MBBS degrees.