NMC comes into effect in place of MCI

NMC comes into effect in place of MCI

  • Medical education in the country will now be regulated by the National Medical Commission (NMC), which has replaced the corruption-tainted Medical Council of India (MCI).
  • Simultaneously, the IMC Act of 1956 stands repealed, giving way to the NMC Act that was minted in August 2019.

This new setup comes with a set of reforms aimed at curing the maladies plaguing the medical education segment. Over the years, glaring ills have come to the fore, especially with the mushrooming of private medical colleges, some with questionable credentials and means. The arrest by the CBI of the then MCI chief in 2010 for allegedly taking a Rs 2-crore bribe to approve a Punjab institute, had sent shockwaves. As medical seats in the private sector began to be offered for up to Rs 50 lakh and money rather than merit became the criteria for admissions, it led to erosion of the public’s faith in the system.

The necessity for setting the house in order has been excruciatingly felt during the current pandemic as facilities run short of the caseload, even as dedicated doctors and paramedics have earned much respect. With non-Covid patients struggling to get remedial attention, the fault-lines in public healthcare stand starkly exposed. There is an acute need for more doctors, especially in rural areas. An impeccable stream of graduates passing out through a fair method of screening and exams every year is the prerequisite to filling the void.

But, however well-meaning the changes proposed to be injected into the system may be, the output rests on the members manning the panels. They have to be of unimpeachable integrity. The new norms, sadly, leave scope for the Centre to usurp the states’ authority and foist its own people — a bane loaded with attendant irregularities. Allowing private colleges to ‘sell’ 50 per cent seats and giving a limited licence to practise medicine for community health providers stick out among the sore points. The onus is on the NMC, along with its autonomous boards constituted to regulate medical education, ratings, registration and ethics, to root out the rotten practices and clean the Augean stables.

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