WE OPPOSE "NATIONAL MEDICAL COMMISSION BILL 2017"
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A critical perusal of draft NMC bill glaringly brings out the following…..
1) The objectives of the IMC act and the draft NMC bill are absolutely same, then what is the purpose of the new bill ?.
2) The representative character of the IMC act is completely lost, there by the watchdog role that naturally a professional body should play is lost. Out of 25 members, having powers, only 5 will be elected. No effective representation to States, Universities & doctors.
3) The NMC is converted into a department of Health Ministry and the safety valve provided in the IMC act to oppose decisions of the Government which are against the interest of the public health is also done away with.
4) The autonomy of the State Medical Councils is tampered with against the principles of federalism.
5) Medical education will become very expensive and unaffordable to the poor. Fees of 60 % or more seats will be decided by the college management.
6) Enough scope is given in the provisions of the draft bill to dilute the very objectives of the bill - eg. When licentiate examination is contemplated, there is provision to allow even those who do not pass to practice, when a common entrance examination (NEET) is considered exclusion clauses are provided, when certain sections mention about excluding members who have conflict of interest, provision is given for the government to exempt persons of their choice from this clause.
7) The draft NMC bill’s main objective is to have highest standard in medical education and practice. But enough provision is provided in the bill for lateral entry of non MBBS persons. Basic qualification of being M.B.B.S for prescribing modern medicine is removed.
8) Practitioners of Ayurvedic, Yoga, Unani, Siddh, Homeopathy, other Indian Medicines will be allowed to prescribe modern medicines by just doing a bridge course without any training in its correlation & application part and without passing the licenciate (EXIT) exam.
9) A new medical college be opened or rise in number of UG / PG seats be done by the college itself without any prior inspection. And if found deficient later on, can continue by paying penalty.
10) As per the draft bill, the CEO of Niti Ayog is an official of NMC. If a member of the policy making body becomes a member of a commission itself, how can Niti Ayog impartially and without conflict of interest assess the performance of the commission for improvement.
11) There are provisions in the draft bill (Sections 16, 17, 22(4), 42(3)) which empower 2 or 3 individuals like NMC Chairman/Board Presidents to control all the admissions to medical graduate courses, exit examinations at the end of graduation that would also be the entrance test for PG courses, and also PG courses and their examinations thereafter. Two of these Board Presidents need not be medical professionals at all. This again allows concentration of power in few individuals, resulting in inefficiency and corruption. Presently the NEET examination is conducted by National Board Of Examinations (NBE).
12) The President of the commission is armed with absolute power through various sections of the draft bill, which by itself is against the democratic norm and against the spirit of any Act.
13) Today, the axe is falling on Indian Medical Council Act. If the draconian draft National Medical Commission Bill which is to replace IMC act is not opposed, the same fate will fall on all other paramedical councils and other professional councils.
14) The draft NMC bill is legally unsound, undemocratic, self defeating and contradicting its own objectives, rendering itself impossible for any amendment other than complete repeal.
“The remedy will prove to be worse than the malady”
We the modern medicine doctors of India sign this petition anticipating your favourable intervention in the cause of the fraternity, patients and all other democratic professional councils.
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