NEXT Exam to come within 3 years , NMC Bill introduced in Lok Sabha by Dr. Harsh Vardhan .
Photo Credit: MNN
Union Health Minister Dr. Harsh Vardhan today introduced the much debated National Medical Commission (NMC ) Bill 2019 in the Lok Sabha. The bill which aims to bring major reforms in the healthcare system of the country is not getting appreciations from the medical fraternity and the undergraduate students. During the previous instances too Indian Medical Association had protested against the various clauses of the bill.
The National Exit Test :- One of the most controversial issue mentioned in the bill is of National Exit Test which the Government is planning to introduce in replacement of final year MBBS exam. According to a copy of the bill accessed to Medogle , it states “A common final year undergraduate medical examination to be known as the NEXT , shall be held for granting license to practice as a registered medical practitioner & for enrollment in the state and national medical register. The National exit test shall also serve as a basis for admission into post graduate medical education (broad speciality).
Date of implementation – The bill states “ The national exit test shall become operational on such date , within three years from the date of commencement of this act , as may be specified by Central Government via a notification.”
The NMC Bill also mentions that any person having a foreign medical qualification will be required to pass the NEXT exam in order to practice medicine in India and get his/her name enrolled in National medical register.
Composition of NMC :- The proposed National Medical Commission replacing the MCI will be constituted at New Delhi and will comprise of 1 chairperson, 10 ex- officio members and 14 part time members.
It also suggests the creation of 4 autonomous boards under the ambit of NMC namely , Undergraduate Medical Education Board , Post graduate medical education board , Medical Assessment and Rating board and Ethics and Medical Registration board. These autonomous boards will be responsible for maintaining, and regulating the standards and structure of undergraduate and postgraduate medical education in the country.
Clause 49 of the NMC Bill states “ Notwithstanding anything contained in this act , any student who was studying for a degree, diploma or certificate in any medical institution before the commencement of this Act shall continue to so study and complete his course for such degree , diploma or certificate and such institution shall continue to provide such instructions and examination for such student in accordance with the syllabus and studies as existed before such commencement”
The bottom-line for students :- The NMC Bill also states “ The Commission by notification will have the power to make regulations regarding the manner in which admission to broad speciality medical education shall be made , the manner of conducting the National Exit test , the manner of conducting the common counselling by the designated authorities for admission to undergraduate and postgraduate medical education”. The bill although introduced in the Lok Sabha today and it is expected that it will get passed this week as the government has the majority in the lower house. Although the ruling party will find it difficult to get it passed in Rajya Sabha under the present form of the bill as it is expected to give rise to nationwide protest from medical fraternity. As far as NEXT exam is concerned , it will be too early to comment on its pattern , actual date of implementation, MBBS academic batches that will come under its ambit and much more. The details of the NEXT exam and the manner in which admission to post graduate medical seats will take place from upcoming years will be informed by the Central Government via a notification in case the NMC Bill is passed from both the houses of Parliament in its present form. As far as the issues of students who had already passed the MBBS exam and are presently preparing for NEET PG , it is expected that they may continue to get admission into post graduate seats through NEET exam in its present form until or unless a fresh notification regarding their admission is issued after the constitution of National Medical Commission. Indian Medical Association is keeping a close watch on the series of events unfolding and it will soon present its view on the bill before the nation on the broader interests of quality medical education and patient care in the country. Nevertheless , NMC Bill has raised the curiosity level of both the final year students and NEET PG aspirants. Undoubtedly the bill has a tough path to go across until it will take the shape of law.
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