The Cabinet approved these amendments recommended by the parliamentary standing committee on health.
New Delhi: The Union Cabinet on Wednesday approved the removal of the controversial provision in the National Medical Commission (NMC) Bill which allowed a “bridge course” for ayurvedic and unani practitioners enabling them to practice modern medicine.
Official sources said the Cabinet, which met under the chairmanship of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, decided to remove the clause dealing with a bridge course for Ayush practitioners to practice modern medicine to a limited extent.
It has been left to state governments to take necessary measures for addressing and promoting primary health care in rural areas, sources further said.
In another significant decision regarding a provision of the NMC bill on entrance examinations, the Cabinet decided that the final MBBS examination will be held as a common exam across the country and would serve as an exit test called the National Exit Test (NEXT).
Having considered the common demand by students not to subject them to an additional licentiate exam for getting a licence to practise, the Cabinet approved making the final MBBS examination a common exam across the country that would serve as an exit test to be called NEXT.
Thus, the students would not have to appear in a separate exam after MBBS to get a licence to practice. NEXT will also serve as a screening test for doctors with foreign medical qualifications in order to practice in India.
The Cabinet approved these amendments recommended by the parliamentary standing committee on health. The NMC Bill was introduced in the Lok Sabha on January 2 this year, but was referred to the committee as many of its provisions were found to be contentious.
Some other amendments okayed by the Cabinet include fee regulation for 50 per cent seats in private medical institutions and deemed universities. Earlier, as per the bill’s provisions, the maximum limit was 40 per cent seats, for which fee could be regulated in private medical institutions and deemed universities.
Also, stringent punishment will be given to unqualified medical practitioners or quacks under the amendments cleared by the Cabinet, wherein imprisonment of up to one year along with a fine extending up to `5 lakhs has been okayed by the Cabinet.