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The Union Health Ministry has proposed to scrap NEET-PG and instead the final MBBS examination would be enough for admission to MD and MS programs, has given a reliefto medical students who wantsto pursue post-graduate courses.
The official sources hasinformed PTI that the amendment has been incorporated in the revised draft National Medical Commission (NMC) Bill which would be sent to the Cabinet soon. As per them, the changes have been incorporated in the bill on the directions of the Prime Ministers Office (PMO).
The source explained that according to the amendments made in the fresh NMC Bill, entry into the PG programs will be on the basis of the results of the National Exit Test (NEXT), which would be held as a common exam across the country. So the candidates does not have to appear in a separate exam after clearing the MBBS final exam for admission to PG courses.The students would also not be required to appear in a separate exam after MBBS to get a license to practice.
Though, for admission to PG programs at AIIMS, clearing a separate exam will remain mandatory. The sources also said, that the NEET Super Speciality, which is a national-level entrance exam for admission in DM/MCh courses, will continue.
Every year 80,000 students take admission into MBBS courses in about 480 medical colleges in the country, whereas 1.5 lakh students appear for entrance exams for admission to about 50,000 PG seats.
The NMC Bill was introduced in Parliament in December 2017, but it lapsed with the dissolution of the 16th Lok Sabha. After its introduction in the lower house in 2017, the Bill, which purposes to replace the Medical Council of India Act, 1956 have included the contentious provision of a "bridge course" to allow practitioners of alternative medicines to pursue allopathy, and was referred to a Department-Related Parliamentary Standing Committee afterhuge protests from the medical fraternity.
The first version of the Bill has proposed a national-level licentiate exam for all MBBS graduates for getting license to practice in India, but was removed due to strong protests by several doctor bodies.
The provision of the bridge course was strongly opposed by health bodies, including the Indian Medical Association. They claimed that allowing AYUSH doctors to practice modern medicine would be promoting "quackery", though the ministry had reasoned that the provision is to seekand address the "acute shortage" of doctors in the country.
The parliamentary panel gave its recommendations in March 2018, subsequently; the Health Ministry scrapped the provision of ‘bridge course’ and made few other changes as suggested by the committee before making the official amendments in the Lok Sabha.
The amendment statedthat it has been left to state governments to take necessary measures for addressing and encouraging primary healthcare in rural areas and also made the severe punishment for unauthorized practice of medicine with imprisonment of up to one year along with a fine of up to ₹5 lakh.