Medical Council of India Current Affairs - 2019

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Dentists to be allowed to practice as General Physicians

Government’s Think tank Niti Ayog has agreed to the proposal of the Dental Council of India which had sought to allow dentists to practice as general physicians after a bridge course.

The proposal was in the backdrop of the call by the Prime Minister’s office to explore unconventional methods to address the shortage of doctors in the country, particularly in rural areas.

Proposal of Dental Council of India

The Dental Council of India had sent a similar proposal to the Medical Council of India last year. The proposal sought:

  • A bridge course of 3 years post Bachelor of Dental Science (BDS).
  • The admission would be either through a common entrance exam or through cumulative marks secured in the BDS course, or even a combination.
  • The syllabus curriculum, scheme of examination, method of evaluation, degrees and registration all these criteria will be the same as recommended for MBBS.

IMA opposes the Proposal

Indian Medical Association has vehemently opposed the proposal. Stating the figures the IMA has said that 63,250 MBBS graduates come out of 494 medical colleges every year and India has only 23,729 post-graduate seats. Unemployment among medical graduates is a cause for concern. The IMA has called the policy has flawed.

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Cabinet approves National Medical Commission Bill

The Union Cabinet has approved National Medical Commission Bill, 2017. It will replace the Medical Council, 1956 Act and enable a forward movement in medical education reform.

The bill is aims at bringing reforms in medical education sector of the country which has been under scrutiny for corruption and unethical practices.

Key Features of Bill

The bill replaces existing apex medical education regulator Medical Council of India (MCI) with National Medical Council (NMC), a new body to ensure transparency. It empowers NMC to lay down policies for maintaining high quality and high standards in medical education and make necessary regulations in this behalf and ensure coordination among Autonomous Boards.

It provides for constitution of four autonomous boards entrusted with conducting undergraduate and postgraduate education, assessment and accreditation of medical institutions and registration of practitioners under NMC.

The commission will have 25-members including Chairman and Member Secretary. It will have 12 ex-officio members and 11-part-time members of which five will be doctors elected to the commission. The selected members will be picked by a search committee headed by Cabinet Secretary.

The bill proposes a common entrance exam and national licentiate examination which every candidate, who completes five years of MMBS course need to clear to become medical practitioner or get entry into post-graduation studies. This examination will also bring those students who do medical education from abroad at par with those who graduate from Indian institutions.

Significance

The bill aims to move towards outcome-based regulation of medical education rather than process oriented. It will ensure proper separation of functions within regulator by having autonomous boards, create accountable and transparent procedures for maintaining standards in Medical Education.

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