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Eminent professionals to now run tainted MCI

Eminent professionals to now run tainted MCI
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New Delhi: In a significant move aimed at bringing transparency and quality in medical education, the Lok Sabha on Monday passed the Indian Medical Council (Amendment), Bill. Once it clears the Rajya Sabha hurdle, it would allow a panel of eminent professionals to run the scam-tainted Medical Council of India (MCI) so that medical education can be regulated in the best manner.

The bill passed by the lower house would replace the ordinance that was issued in September this year. The bill is a temporary arrangement to allow eminent medical professionals to run the MCI and bring transparency in medical education.

A separate bill to replace MCI with the National Medical Commission (NMC) is already pending in the Parliament, and once the NMC Bill gets passed in both houses, the Indian Medical Council (Amendment) bill would become redundant.

Piloting the bill, Health Minister Jagat Prakash Nadda said this bill supersedes MCI, and the powers of the council have been vested in a Board of Governors (BoG).

The BoG has all eminent personalities and includes directors of AIIMS and PGI, Chandigarh. This board will continue to perform till a Council is constituted, Nadda said.

A separate bill to replace MCI with National Medical Commission is pending in Parliament.

"This bill has been issued so that medical education can be regulated in the best manner, as MCI turned out to be a massive failure," he said.

The Minister, while speaking on the bill, said the parliamentary panel on Health in its report also cautioned that any attempt to overhaul the medical regulatory system in the country would face enormous challenges.

He suggested that government was forced to come up with this bill as the oversight committee formed by the government on the suggestion of the Supreme Court resigned, and the MCI could not function. After that, the government came with an ordinance.

Amid allegations of corruption against MCI office bearers and probes into opaque accreditation to medical colleges, the Supreme Court had in May 2016 directed the government to set up an oversight committee with authority to oversee all statutory functions of MCI till the new legislation comes in.

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