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Lok Sabha Passes Indian Medical Council (Amendment) Bill

In Health, Nation, News
January 01, 2019

The Lok Sabha passed the Indian Medical Council (Amendment) Bill, which would allow a panel of eminent professionals to run the Medical Council of India (MCI).

The Bill seeks to replace an ordinance issued in September. Piloting the Bill, Health Minister Jagat Prakash Nadda said the Bill vests powers of the council in a Board of Governors (BoG). The BoG will have eminent personalities and will include directors of AIIMS and PGI Chandigarh. This board will continue to perform till a Council is constituted, Nadda said.

A separate Bill to replace MCI with the National Medical Commission is pending in Parliament. “This Bill has been issued so that medical education can be regulated in the best manner, as MCI turned out to be a massive failure,” Nadda said. The government, according to him, had been forced to come up with this Bill as the oversight committee formed by the government on suggestion of the Supreme Court resigned and the MCI could not function.

The minister, while speaking on the Bill, said the parliamentary panel on health in its report also cautioned that any attempt to overhaul the medical regulatory system in the country will face huge challenges.

Amid allegations of corruption against MCI office bearers and probes into opaque accreditation to medical colleges, the Supreme Court had in May 2016 directed the government to set up an oversight committee with the authority to oversee all statutory functions of MCI till the new legislation comes in. Several MCI members have been accused of taking bribes to fast-track accreditation.