Lok Sabha passes National Medical Commission Bill, Harsh Vardhan calls it major reform

ANI New Delhi, Delhi, India Jul 29, 2019, 09.07 PM(IST)

File photo of Harsh Vardhan. Photograph:( Zee News Network )

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The Bill was passed with 260 members voting in its favour and 48 against it.

The Lok Sabha on Monday passed a bill that seeks to create National Medical Commission in place of Medical Council of India (MCI) with Health Minister Harsh Vardhan terming it as an "anti-vested interests bill" which will be remembered as one of the greatest reforms brought by the Modi government.

The National Medical Commission Bill, 2019, was passed following a division even as the minister had appealed for its unanimous passage.

The Bill was passed with 260 members voting in its favour and 48 against it.

The amendments moved by the opposition were negatived. Congress members staged a walk out before the passage of the bill.

In his reply to points raised by opposition members, Vardhan termed the bill as "pro-public" and said it will help "move away from inspector raj".

He said the Bill will help improve standards of medical education in the country.

The minister referred to his own experience as a medical practitioner.

"After 45 years, this is probably the happiest moment. It will improve the standards of medical education. It is a major, major reform in medical education," he said.

The Bill provides that the common final year MBBS exams to be known as National Exit Test (NEXT) would serve as licentiate exam for entrance to post-graduate medical courses and as the screening test for foreign medical graduates.

It also provides that the national entrance test i.e. NEET, common counselling and NEXT shall also be applicable to Institutes of National Importance (INIs) like AIIMS to have common standards in the country.

The Bill provides that the Medical Assessment and Rating Board (MARB) will conduct an assessment to the medical college and develop a system of ranking medical colleges which would enable the students to chose the medical college wisely.

It provides for the repeal of the Indian Medical Council Act 1956.