Recent controversial move of Government of India to implement National Medical Commission instead of Medical Council of India will affect medical profession and facilitate professional dilution in the healthcare system in the country. Proposed move to implement bridge courses to Ayush sectors like Ayurveda, Siddha, Homeopathy and Unani for practicing modern medicine may favour unscientific practices and common man won't get appropriate care as and when required. Around 10.5 lakh students had appeared for NEET 2017 for getting admission to MBBS and BDS courses. But the number of seats is 52000 and 25000 respectively. Students opting for Ayurveda, Homeopathy, Siddha and Unani courses have comparatively less NEET score when compared to those opting for MBBS. Thus first preference of more than 95 percent of the students of allied health sciences is MBBS.  If they get an opportunity to do bridge course for practicing modern medicine majority of allied health graduates may opt. This may affect both modern medicine, Ayush and public healthcare system.

Government of India initiated Ayush to promote allied health Care system as an alternate therapy. Across the world holistic therapy is acquiring momentum. Due to deleterious effects of modern medicine recent trend is more towards Ayurveda, Homeopathy, Siddha and Unani systems. At a time when across the globe Ayush assumes more significance, recent move to dilute this sector through bridge courses via National Medical commission will only help to spoil the age old traditional healthcare system in the country. Moreover, organic and natural farming are emerging across the world after replacing intensive agriculture with the help of chemical fertilizers and pesticides. Due to deleterious effects of antibiotics, antibiotic resistance is emerging at an alarming rate in the country. World Health Organisation reports suggest that by 2050 antibiotic resistance will affect millions of human lives. Lot of research works are taking place in this sector. Taking advantage of the situation, lot of quacks start practicing modern medicine which will create hazardous situation in the healthcare system. Indiscriminate use of antibiotics may result in alarming rates of antibiotic resistance.

One of the major reforms in the proposed bill is to introduce exit test; National medical graduate entrance examination for those medical graduates who are passing out from Indian medical schools. Previously medical graduates from non English speaking countries like China, Russia, Ukraine, Georgia, Sri Lanka, Malaysia need to write FMGE Foreign medical graduates examination for getting MCI registration to practice in India. More than 30000 Indian students are studying medical under graduate program in these countries. Their degree is Doctor of medicine with 6 years duration. But percentage of students successfully completing FMGE is less than 20 only. Moreover, majority of medical schools cannot provide appropriate skill required for the sector. Because of poor pass percentage along with poor skills and changing trends in the screening tests, meritorious   students may likely to repeat NEET for getting medical admission in the country. Hundreds of medical schools are functioning in these countries. Lot of agencies are working in this sector. Recent move to implement exit test for Indian medical graduates will attract more Indian plus 2 students to pursue medical education in the non English speaking countries. Medical education from English speaking countries like UK, USA, Australia, Canada and New Zealand will get global recognition. But admission criteria are tough. Students require SAT and IELTS/ TOEFL scores for 4-year premedical course. Then they have to write MCAT for admission to graduate medical schools.

It is a clear fact that NMC had lot of demerits which may adversely affect the public health care system in the country. The bill has already been referred to the Loka sabha committee. Before pursuing further with NMC, need of the hour is to have a thorough home work with potential stakeholders for a healthy healthcare system and quality medical education and research.  - Mathrubhumi


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