Medical Council of India is an autonomous body constituted by the government of India in 1956, as per the law within the framework of Indian Constitution, to exercise the powers conferred upon and perform functions assigned to it. The Medical Council of India has been performing following functions effectively.
- Lay down policies for maintaining high qualities and high standards in medical education
- Lay down policies for regulating medical institution, medical profession and medical researches
- Access the requirements in health care
- Promote, co-ordinate and frame guidelines and lay down policies by making necessary regulations for the proper functioning of MCI, autonomous boards and State councils.
- Take measures to ensure compliance by state medical councils
- Lay down policies and codes to ensures professional ethics in medical profession
- Lay down policies for medical education and fees structure
Under the pretext of allegation of corruption that was taken place in MCI, the government of India replaced the MCI with NMC which is against the Indian Constitution. As such there is no necessity of bringing the NMC Bill in place of MCI. The hidden agenda of the government in bringing the NMC Bill is to dilute the power of autonomous body and thereby impose its will establishing its control on the medical fraternity.
It is not justified to give license to quacks and unqualified persons showing reason of inadequate doctors and if it be, so then the responsibility of the government is to increase number of government medical colleges to produce more doctors. NMC is anti-poor and the pro cooperative for the rules and regulations of NMC are such that it is going to destroy the entire healthcare system in India with primary healthcare getting effected more on account of which common man will be deprived of the medical care which is going to become costly. Section 32 of the NMC Bill provides for licensing of unqualified non-medical persons who have been termed as a community health providers. The community provider may prescribe specified medicine independently, and this allows them to practice modern medicine independently. Once given free hand, it will become a formidable task for the government to check them. Allowing practitioners of Ayush system of medicine to practice modern medicine gives wrong perception of their skills. Promoting modern medicine for Ayush doctors will lead to disintegration of ancient system of medicine which will slowly vanish from our country. If the government is sensible, it should work to revive Ayush system of medicine in the country, because they are our heritage. Giving license to the persons who are not qualified doctors would certainly bring down the quality of healthcare and whereby quackery become rampant. The Bill is in favour of corporate hospitals and private medical colleges and definitely anti-poor. NMC is going to destroy the entire healthcare system in India with primary healthcare system being affected on account of which common man will be deprived of medical care. Giving a license to non-qualified doctors is certain to bring down the quality of healthcare and leading to difficulty for the patient to differentiate between qualified doctor and non-qualified doctors thereby and whereby quackery will become rampant. NMC Bill is providing 50 percent of seats to the management of private medical colleges on which NMC has no power or control. The concept of primary health provider itself is ridiculous and at what level he can provide healthcare and how to monitor it. Quality of medical education will go down so badly. The biggest lacunae in the Bill is that there is no punishment or restrictions for unqualified persons who are going to practice modern medicine (Allopathy) and the paradox is that the punishment and restrictions are applied for qualified doctors who are registered. Central Minister of Health Dr Harshawardhan claimed that NMC as one of the biggest reforms for medical education in the country. But practically, it is a greatest joke and foolish act for which people of India will teach a lesson and that the day is not far off as it is bound to happen. It is a deep unseen plot of pharma industry. Enough debate was not done to educate all sections of people on NMC and its vicious effects. Mala fide intentions of the government in bringing NMC have not been exposed and explained. August 1,2019 will remain as a black day forever for the medical fraternity and for medical profession which is supposed to take care of the common man’s health.
The writer is Vice President of the Telangana State unit of Indian Medical Association – The Hans India