Bill to end MCI era seeks to allow Ayush doctors practice allopathy

Teddy bear treating toy
Teddy bear treating toy

It envisages allowing Ayush doctors to practice modern medicine after clearing a bridge course

The National Medical Commission Bill 2017 envisages allowing Ayush doctors to practice modern medicine after clearing a bridge course, a potentially controversial provision that may make the passage of the Bill difficult, especially in the Rajya Sabha.The Bill was introduced in the Lok Sabha on Friday by health minister J P Nadda.

child doctor
child doctor

NMC Bill seeks to replace the MCI with the National Medical Commission (NMC), change regulation of medical education and introduce a medical exit examination.

The Bill says: “There shall be a joint sitting of the (National Medical) Commission, the Central Council of Homoeopathy and the Central Council of Indian Medicine at least once a year, at such time and place as they mutually appoint, to enhance the interface between homoeopathy, Indian Systems of Medicine and modern systems of medicine…(in that sitting they will) decide on approving specific bridge course that may be introduced for the pracititioners of homoeopathy and of Indian Systems of Medicine to enable them to prescribe such modern medicines at such level as may be prescribed.”

The Bill seeks to provide for a medical education system that “ensures availability of adequate and high quality medical professionals; that encourages medical professionals to adopt latest research in their work and contribute to research…”

The meeting will also finalise by an affirmative vote of all members present and voting approvals for “specific educational modules or programmes that may be introduced in the undergraduate course and the postgraduate course across medical systems and to develop bridges across various systems of medicine and promote medical pluralism.” The concept of allowing homoeopathy and Indian medicine practitioners – more colloquially called AYUSH practitioners – was there in the draft NMC Bill put out by the Niti Ayog but after the Bill was approved in the cabinet and the Indian Medical Association had said that the Bill would “open floodgates” government sources had claimed that IMA has not seen the latest draft of the Bill. The provision though remains in the Bill tabled in Parliament.

According to the Bill, a 25-member commission selected by a search committee headed by the Union Cabinet Secretary will replace the elected MCI. A medical licentiate (exit) examination will be instituted within three years of its passage by Parliament.