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National Medical Commission Act- Key Provision, NMC Members

National Medical Commission Act: Introduction

On August 1, 2019, the NMC (National Medical Commission) bill received approval from the Rajya Sabha and later from the Lok Sabha. This bill was introduced with the primary goal of ushering in comprehensive reforms within India’s healthcare and medical sector. Its key objectives included curbing corruption in medical education and addressing the challenges that hinder the effective operation of medical colleges. Furthermore, the bill aimed to reshape the national medical regulatory authority by clearly delineating its scope and responsibilities.

Why did we need National Medical Commission Act?

  1. India’s doctor-population ratio stands at 1 doctor for every 1,456 people, falling short of the WHO’s recommended standard of 1 doctor for every 1,000 individuals.
  2. There is a significant disparity in doctor distribution between urban and rural areas, with the ratio being 3.8 urban doctors to 1 rural doctor.
    Consequently, a large portion of the rural and impoverished population lacks access to quality healthcare and is often left at the mercy of unqualified practitioners.
  3. Notably, 57.3% of individuals currently practicing allopathic medicine in India lack the necessary medical qualifications.

National Medical Commission Act: What is The National Medical Commission Bill 2019?

  • The National Medical Commission Bill, 2019, was passed in Lok Sabha on July 29, 2019, and in Rajya Sabha on August 01, 2022.
  • The Bill’s purpose is to replace the Indian Medical Council (MCI) Act, 1956, and establish a medical education system ensuring the availability of sufficient high-quality medical professionals, incorporation of current medical research, regular evaluation of medical institutions, and an effective grievance redressal mechanism.
  • Key features of the Bill encompass ensuring the availability of an adequate and high-quality medical workforce, integrating the latest medical research, periodically assessing medical institutions, and establishing an efficient grievance redressal system.
  • The bill outlines the creation of a National Medical Commission responsible for formulating policies to regulate medical institutions and professionals, specifying requirements for human resources and infrastructure, and providing fee guidelines for up to 50 percent of seats in private medical institutions and deemed universities governed by the Bill.

National Medical Commission Act 2019

Key Provisions under National Medical Commission Act

Under the National Medical Commission Act, key provisions include the establishment of a National Medical Commission to regulate medical institutions and professionals, and the emphasis on ensuring high-quality medical education and research integration, while replacing the Indian Medical Council Act, of 1956.

Overarching Body

The NMC serves as a central authority responsible for policy formulation and coordination of four Autonomous Boards. These Boards oversee undergraduate and postgraduate education, medical assessment and rating, as well as ethics and medical registration. This division of responsibilities among the four distinct Boards is designed to ensure a clear separation of functions, as explained by the Union Health Minister.


The National Medical Commission Act is a student-oriented effort. Among NMC’s responsibilities is scrutinizing the expense of medical education. The Act also introduces a uniform entrance exam (NEET) for MBBS and offers centralized counseling for all medical institutions nationwide. This simplifies the admission process, prevents seat reservations in multiple counseling sessions, and alleviates the burden on students and their families, both physically and financially.


  • The NMC Act replaces the final year exam with the National Exit Test (NEXT).
  • NEXT serves as a comprehensive test, granting a medical practice license, an MBBS degree, and access to postgraduate programs.
  • This change allows students to focus on internships rather than extensive preparation for PG courses, significantly reducing their academic burden.
  • NEXT also functions as a licentiate exam for foreign graduates.
  • The Act introduces common counseling for PG course admissions, streamlining the process for securing seats in various medical colleges and prestigious institutions.
  • Importantly, there are no restrictions on the number of attempts for the NEXT examination.

Fees Regulation

  • The NMC Act is distinctive for its fee regulation provisions, covering charges in 50% of seats in private colleges and Deemed to be Universities.
  • The earlier Indian Medical Council Act of 1956 lacked these fee regulation provisions.
  • States previously relied on MOUs with medical colleges during Essentiality Certificate issuance to control fees for state quota seats.
  • Approximately 50% of the total MBBS seats are in government colleges with nominal fees.
  • The NMC will regulate the fees for 50% of the remaining seats, resulting in about 75% of total seats in the country being available at reasonable fees, encompassing all related charges.
  • State amendments can be introduced to regulate fees for the remaining 50% of seats, providing flexibility in fee control.

Community Health Providers

  • The government is focusing on universal health coverage and more importantly, universal screening of our population for non-communicable diseases in the years to come.
  • As part of a pragmatic and forward-looking measure in the NMC Act, in remote areas where doctors are not available, there will now be a health professional who can counsel the population, provide early warnings, treat elementary ailments, and provide early referral to a higher facility.
  • The utility of such mid-level health providers has been confirmed by the WHO after studying their impact on healthcare in developed and developing countries.
  • Even developed countries like the USA, Canada and the UK have mid-level providers like nurse practitioners.
  • In the above background, a provision has been made in the NMC Act to register some Community Health Providers (CHPs) who shall be modern medicine professionals; they shall not be dealing with any alternative system of medicine.

National Medical Commission Members

  • The NMC should comprise 10 Vice Chancellors of State Health Universities.
  • Additionally, there should be 9 elected members from State Medical Councils in the NMC.
  • This arrangement ensures that 19 out of the 33 members, which is more than half of the total, will represent the States.
  • It is important that only a minority of members are appointed by the central government.
  • This structure ensures that the NMC is representative, and inclusive, and respects the federal structure of Indian governance.

Draft National Medical Devices Policy 2022

National Medical Commission Act: To be implemented in 2022

The NMC Bill, originally scheduled for implementation in 2021 but delayed due to the pandemic, is now set to be enforced in 2022 without exception. On February 3, 2022, a government notification informed all medical colleges and institutions that the NMC regulations will apply to all medical institutions.

National Medical Commission Act UPSC

The National Medical Commission (NMC) Act, enacted in 2019, replaced the Medical Council of India (MCI) and brought significant reforms to India’s medical education and healthcare system. It focuses on ensuring a quality medical workforce, integrating up-to-date medical research, conducting regular assessments of medical institutions, and establishing an effective grievance redressal system. The Act also introduces the National Exit Test (NEXT) for medical graduates and aims to improve healthcare access, especially in rural areas, while aligning Indian medical education with global standards.

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