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NMC Bill in present form is anti-poor: Indian Medical Association to Parliamentary panel

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eMediNexus    25 January 2018

The Indian Medical Association today presented its views before a parliamentary panel over the National Medical Commission (NMC) Bill and alleged that the proposed legislation will be beneficial to the rich and will hurt the poor.

The bill, which seeks to replace the Medical Council of India (MCI) -- the apex medical education regulator -- with a new body, to ensure transparency, was introduced in the Lok Sabha in December last year.

It was later referred to a parliamentary panel, following protests by doctors across the country.

Appearing before the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Health which is examining the bill, IMA representatives strongly opposed the proposed legislation in its present form and reiterated that it would cripple the medical profession.

It claimed that the bill is anti-poor and pro-rich, as it proposes that the government can fix fee for only 40 per cent of the seats in private medical colleges.

The bill proposes constitution of four autonomous boards entrusted with conducting undergraduate and postgraduate education, assessment and rating of medical institutions and registration of practitioners under the National Medical Commission.

The commission will have a government-nominated chairman and members, and the board members will be selected by a search committee under the Cabinet Secretary, it says.

The medical fraternity is opposing the clause fearing the body would effectively be run by the government.

The bill also proposes allowing practitioners of alternative medicines, such as homoeopathy and ayurveda, practise allopathy after completing a "bridge course".

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