Healthcare professionals in the government sector, including the faculty and resident doctors of AIIMS, have rejected the National Medical Commission Bill in its present form, that seeks to replace the Medical Council of India with a new body.

The bill has been sent to a parliamentary standing committee following protests by doctors across the country claiming that the proposed legislation would "cripple" the functioning of medical professionals by making them completely answerable to the bureaucracy and non-medical administrators.

The committee has been asked to give its report before the Budget session of Parliament set to commence on January 29.

According to AIIMS resident doctors, the National Medical Commission (NMC) Bill requires a complete makeover rather than amendments.

"It (the Bill) promotes bureaucratisation and politicisation of medical education and doesn't provide independence to the NMC. It will be more like a puppet in the hands of government and bureaucrats. Most of the members are nominated by government and suggested by bureaucrats," they said in a statement.

Discussion on the NMC Bill was organised by Resident Doctors' Association (RDA) of AIIMS and attended by the vice president of Delhi Medical Association and president Joint Action Council of Service Doctor Organisation (JACSDO) Dr Rajeev Sood, Delhi Medical Council registrar Dr Girish Tyagi.

Representatives of RDA AMU, Aligarh, PGI Chandigarh, Lady Hardinge hospital, RML hospital were among those who attended the meeting.

Participants of the meeting said the proposal of fees regulation of up to 40 percent and providing free hand to private medical colleges over it will promote capitalisation and will increase the cost of medical education.

They said there was no strict guideline in the Bill to regulate functioning of private medical colleges.

While welcoming the National Licentiate Examination (NLE), which all medical graduates will have to clear to get practising licences, as proposed in the Bill, the participants of the meeting claimed that there is no clear description on how will this exam will be conducted.

They opposed the Bill's proposal of allowing practitioners of alternative medicines, such as homoeopathy and ayurveda, practice allopathy after completing a "bridge course"

"This is most unacceptable. Medical sciences and modern medicine are complicated issues to understand and the government must consult medical professional before taking such irrelevant decisions because by doing so it will play with the health of Indians," a senior doctor said. – Money Control 

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