National Medical Commission Act

A comprehensive analysis for UPSC Civil Service Exam

Introduction

The Medical Council of India (MCI) was responsible for regulating medical education and practice in India. According to the 92nd Report of Parliamentary Standing Committee, MCI had lacked the quality of medical education, basic health care competence and unethical practices in the medical field were followed widely. The National Medical Commission Act tried to repeal the Indian Medical Council Act of 1956. The National Medical Commission Act, an umbrella regulatory body in the medical education system, is the replacement for the Medical Council of India.

Subject wise insight for UPSC civil service exam (Prelims and Mains)

Mains GS2 – Welfare Initiatives

National Medical Commission Act
  • The National Medical Commission Act was launched in 2019. The head office of the Commission is situated in New Delhi. It is administered by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.
  • The main aim of this Act is to provide a medical education system that improves access to quality and affordable medical education, ensures the availability of adequate and high-quality medical professionals in all parts of the country.
  • The committee consists of a chairperson, ten ex officio members and twenty-two part-time members. The chairperson should be a medical professional with 20 years of experience.
  • The commission may constitute sub-committees to accomplish specific tasks.
Functions
  • To lay down policies for maintaining high quality and high standards in medical education and make necessary regulations
  • To lay down policies for regulating medical institutions, medical researches and medical professionals and make necessary regulations
  • To assess the requirements in healthcare, including human resources for health and healthcare infrastructure and develop a road map for meeting such requirements
  • To promote, co-ordinate and frame guidelines and lay down policies by making necessary regulations for the proper functioning of the Commission, the Autonomous Boards and the State Medical Councils
  • To ensure coordination among the Autonomous Boards
  • To take such measures to ensure compliance by the State Medical Councils of the guidelines framed and regulations made under this Act for their effective functioning under this Act
  • To exercise appellate jurisdiction concerning the decisions of the Autonomous Boards
  • To lay down policies and codes to ensure observance of professional ethics in the medical profession and to promote ethical conduct during the provision of care by medical practitioners
  • To frame guidelines for determination of fees and all other charges in respect of fifty per cent of seats in private medical institutions and deemed to be universities which are governed under the provisions of this Act
  • To exercise such other powers and perform such other functions as may be prescribed
Other important facts
  • The Act establishes other regulatory bodies and committees for regulating and structuring formal medical education. They are
  1. Advisory Board
  2. Search Committee
  3. Under Graduate Medical Education Board
  4. Post Graduate Medical Education Board
  5. Medical Assessment and Rating Board
  6. Ethics and Medical Registration Board
  • According to this Act, no person is allowed to open a new medical college or commence a new postgraduate course or increase the number of existing seats without the prior permission of the Medical Assessment and Rating Board (MARB).
  • The Act provides for National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test at the undergraduate level (NEET) and National Exit Test (NEXT) for grant of license after completion of course for granting of a license.
  • The commission also has the power to frame guidelines for determining the fees and related charges in respect of 50% seats in private medical institutions and deemed universities.
Difference between MCI and National Medical Commission
The Medical Council of India (MCI)
  • The Medical Council of India was established in 1933 to provide uniform and high standards of medical education in India.
  • It granted recognition of medical qualification and monitored medical practice in India.
  • The degree of corruption surrounded the MCI in giving permissions to ill-equipped private colleges and allowing them to sell seats in the name of “management quota”. Many objects in the Act had been passed in haste.
  • So, the need for replacing the MCI became inevitable.
Special features of NMC Act:
  • NMC gives more powers to the Central Government. Central Government did not have direct powers over MCI even if it violated the IMC (Indian Medical Council) Act. According to NMC Bill, Central Government has the power to nominate the majority of members in the NMC and to give policy direction to the board and NMC. State representation has increased.
  • The Indian Medical Association (IMA) had lost control. NMC members are broad-based with members from the medical profession, state medical council, state medical universities, civil services and NGOs. But in the MCI, two-thirds of the (160) members were elected from IMA. Hence IMA had lost control over MCI.
  • Unlike MCI, NMC members declare assets and liabilities on the NMC website.
  • There was no fees fixation by MCI. But NMC lets the Central Government to fix fees for half of the seats and State Government to regulate fees for the remaining.
  • Medical Assessment and Rating Board under NMC will give a rating to all medical colleges.
Conclusion

Medical education plays a vital role in our society. It directly or indirectly affects everyone. Medical education is one of the components of the health system because it produces doctors to run the health system both in the public and private sectors. People know the importance of medicine and doctors in this pandemic period. The main purpose of the Act is to implement the quality of medical education and the path to success is very near.