National Medical Commission (NMC): Composition, Functions and Key Facts

The National Medical Commission (NMC), country’s apex regulator of medical education and profession has come into existence from Friday (25 September, 2020).

The National Medical Commission of India has replaced the Medical Council of India (MCI),  as per the gazette notification issued by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.

With the National Medical Commission coming into being, the Board of Governor (BoG) which superseded the MCI on 26 September, 2018, to perform its functions, has been dissolved and around 64-year-old Indian Medical Council Act abolished.

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About Medical Council of India (MCI)

In 1934, it has been established under the Indian Medical Council (IMC) Act, 1933. The main function was to determine uniform standards of higher qualifications in medicine and recognition of medical qualifications in India and abroad.

In 1956, the old act was repealed and a new act was enacted in its place. Further, the new act was modified in 1964, 1993 and 2001.

Government Schemes/Programmes for Welfare and Development of Minorities

Some important points are as follows:

– In 2018, the government dissolved Medical Council of India (MCI) and replaced it with a Board of Governors (BoG), which was chaired by the member of NITI Aayog.

– The Indian Medical Council (IMC) Act was repealed in 1956 after the gazette notification and has been replaced by the National Medical Commission Act that came into existence on 8 August, 2019.

– The purpose is to bring reforms within the medical education sector and also to replace MCI, which was tainted by corruption and other problems.

About National Medical Commission (NMC)

The NMC Act will seek to usher mega reforms within the medical education sector, received the assent of the president on August 8, 2019. The Act provided for setting up of an NMC in place of the scam-tainted Medical Council of India. It’ll function as the country’s top regulator of medical education.

Dr. Suresh Chandra Sharma, former head of the All India Institute of Medical Sciences ENT department has been appointed as the chairman of NMC for a period of three years and Rakesh Kumar Vats, who was the Secretary-General in the Board of Governors of the MCI, is the secretary of the commission.

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The four autonomous boards under the NMC Act are:

– The Under-Graduate Medical Education Board (UGMEB)

– Post-Graduate Medical Education Board (PGMEB)

– Medical Assessment and Rating Board

– The Ethics and Medical Registration Board

The NMC comprises a chairman, 10 ex-officio members and 22 part-time members. The ex-officio members include presidents of the four autonomous boards.

According to the new medical education structure under the NMC, now the common final year Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS) examination are going to be referred to as the National Exit Test (NEXT).

What is NEXT?

It will act as a licentiate examination to practice medicine. It will provide the criteria for admission to postgraduate medical courses, and also for screening of foreign medical graduates.

It will even be applicable to institutes of national importance including the All India Institutes of Medical Sciences (AIIMS). This is to ensure a common standard in the medical education sector in the country. NEET is conducted by the National Testing Agency (NTA).

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What are the functions of the National Medical Council (NMC)?

– Policies are going to be provided for regulating medical institutions and medical professionals.

– In healthcare, it’ll assess the requirements of human resources and infrastructure.

– It’ll ensure the compliance by the State Medical Councils with the regulations made under the Bill.

– For determination of fee for up to 50% of the seats within the private medical institutions, it will frame the guidelines.

Note: This topic can be asked in UPSC GS Paper 2.

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