NMC Bill a blueprint for privatisation of medical education: docs

Professionals and students from various organisations held a meeting in the city on Sunday to discuss the National Medical Council Bill. They have termed the provisions of the Bill as draconian.

The meeting was attended by representatives of the Indian Medical Association (IMA), All India Save Education Committee (AISEC), Medical Service Centre (MSC) and All India Democratic Students Organisation (AIDSO).

“The Bill is undemocratic and even the public should protest against it,” said Dr Srinivasa S, paediatrician, head of the department at KIMS and president, IMA, Bengaluru.

He said the agency which will replace the Medical Council of India (MCI) will have only nominated members and just five out of around 25 members are medical professionals.

“The Bill is a blueprint for privatisation. There will be 60% management seats, instead of the present 20%,” said Dr Sudha K, plastic surgeon and president of MSC.

The Bill is expected to make changes to the guidelines laid down by the MCI.

Among the changes the Bill prescribes in medical education is an additional exam (national licentiate examination) after five and a half years of MBBS. The Bill also proposes that Ayush doctors practise modern medicine after a bridge course.

“Most of the medical colleges belong to politicians, and if 60% of the seats are allotted to managements, students will suffer,” said Srinivasa.

The doctors also said five years of MBBS cannot be equated with AYUSH (Ayurveda, Unani, Siddha and Homoeopathy) training and therefore, cannot be integrated.

“There are already less specialist doctors. What we need is more medical colleges which give admissions to students who are eligible,” said K Uma, secretary, AISEC.

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