Medical Education and Health Services will cost more now: Alliance of Doctors for Ethical Healthcare

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Government to introduce National Medical Commission Bill
Ludhiana, December 20, 2017: Alliance of Doctors for Ethical Healthcare (ADEH) decries the reported approval by the cabinet of the National Medical Commission Bill (NMC) as this remedy in the form of a technocratic, bureaucratic NMC is no solution to the ailment of the outdated, degenerate Medical Council of India. This bill as approved by the cabinet is not available in the public domain and it is reported that only a few modifications were made in the draft NMC bill. This bill embodies a technocratic, bureaucratic approach which would not solve the problems like corruption in sanctioning of medical colleges; exorbitantly costly and yet sub-standard medical education; lack of Continuing Medical Education; absence of standardization; sky rocketing of medical bills; etc. etc.
All members of NMC would be government appointees, whether by nomination or as ex officio. NMC violates the basic requirement of modern governance structure that a regulatory body must be multi-stakeholder, transparent, and accountable. In the existing MCI, the government appointed members are more than members elected by doctors. Yet corruption and other problems kept on escalating. Making all members as government appointees is certainly not the way to eliminate corruption. Representatives of doctors and citizens must have a rightful place in NMC.
Appointing eminent experts to NMC will not also solve the problem of corruption as the primary problem is lack of accountable, transparent structures and processes. Similarly the primary cause of substandard medical education is – in many private colleges admission is based primarily on ability to pay exorbitant fees and on not on merit; secondly students in such colleges hardly get to see any patients since ‘free’ hospitals supposed to be attached to these colleges are more of a virtual reality. Instead of reversing this downhill course, this Bill provides for capping of medical college fees only up to 40% of the seats. This would further increase the already high cost of medical education and the malpractices to recover this expense thus increasing the cost of healthcare which is already making big holes in the pockets and pushing over six crores below poverty line every year.
Going by Niti Aayog’s note circulated earlier about NMC, under the name of establishing world class medical institutions in India, the NMC will allow for-profit organizations to open medical colleges. This would worsen the existing situation for ordinary Indians. Provisions like medical colleges rating to depend on the performance of the student in their examinations are typically techno-bureaucratic approach to complex problems.
“ADEH demands that there should be wide-ranging debate on the NMC Bill, it should not be pushed through in the winter session of the parliament”, said Said Members of Core Committee ADEH Dr Arun Mitra & Dr G S Grewal, Ludhiana Punjab; Dr Arun Gadre, Dr Anant Phadke and Dr Abhay Shukla, Dr Sanjay Nagral, Dr Abhijit More, Dr Kishore Khilare, Dr Mirajkar from Maharashtra; Dr Babu KV from Kerala; Dr Shakeel Ur Rahman, Patna, Bihar.

Date: 
Wednesday, December 20, 2017