The Indian Medical Association (IMA) has opposed the National Medical Commission (NMC) bill, terming is as “undemocratic.” It has demanded that the NMC Bill should be discarded in its totality or else it will launch a satyagrah from November 16.
Dubbing it as “old wine in new bottle,” IMA said there was nothing new in the proposed Bill. The representative character of MCI and the fine balance between elected and nominated members was missing in the NMC Bill, totally excluding the elected members and thus it is a “mockery of democratic process”, it said.
According to IMA general secretary Dr K K Agarwal, there will be no autonomy in the proposed commission, which will be replacing MCI. “It looks like the NMC Bill is being developed to facilitate back-door entry of AYUSH (ayurveda, yoga and naturopathy, unani, siddha and homeopathy) people with bridge courses or Registered Medical Practitioners without MBBS under the disguise of community health courses,” he said.
Dr Agarwal added that the Bill sought to have a nominated body in the name of National Medical Commission to replace MCI. “But MCI is a regulatory and independent body while NMC is intended to be a nominated body which cannot be an autonomous body,” he said. Supporting IMA stand, Dr Bipin Patel, honorary secretary of IMA Gujarat state branch, said his association would support the national body’s stand on NMC Bill.
“There is barely any elected representation of the medical profession, state medical councils or universities, and the university representatives are only in the advisory capacity without any powers,” Patel said. Any council has to run independently and not as extension of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. The Commission must have elected representatives from the medical profession, he said. Dr Agarwal said the IMA would write to the PM and seek the government’s intervention to stall the proposed Bill. “If the government does not intervene in this matter, will will launch a satyagrah on November 16,” he said.