New Delhi: Even as thousands of doctors across the country protested against the National Commission (NMC) Bill 2019, terming it anti-poor and anti-student, the Lok Sabha on Monday passed it by voice vote. The Bill will replace the tainted Medical Council of India (MCI) with the government describing it as one of the biggest reform measures undertaken in the field of medical education.
The Bill was passed even as the Opposition Congress, DMK and Trinamul Congress parties staged a walkout.
Health minister Harsh Vardhan while replying to a discussion on the Bill, said that it will end ‘inspector raj’ in the sector. It aims to bring uniformity in national standards of medical education, by suggesting that the final year MBBS exam be treated as an entrance test for PG, and a screening test for students who graduate in medicine from foreign countries.
This exam, called the National Exit Test (NEXT), would ensure that the proposed NMC moves away from a system of repeated inspections of infrastructure, and rather focuses on outcomes, Mr Vardhan said.
Meanwhile, earlier in the day, around 5,000 doctors, medical students and healthcare professionals from across the country staged a protest against the bill in the national capital.
The call for the protest was given by Indian Medical Association (IMA) during which the protestors marched from AIIMS to Nirman Bhavan, where the health ministry is located.
The protesting doctors claimed that the core concerns raised by the medical fraternity still remains unaddressed.
“The NMC is the worst bill ever introduced in the medical education system and unfortunately a hea-lth minister, who is also a doctor, is adamant in destroying his own education system. We will not accept this atrocity at any cost. The proposed bill is anti-people, anti-poor, anti-students, anti-democratic and draconian in nature,” National President of IMA, Dr Santanu Sen, said.