The National Medical Commission (NMC) Bill 2019 was passed by the Lok Sabha on July 29 and the Rajya Sabha on August 1. Reading this important Act, which will decide the future course of medical education and medical ethics in this country, one gets a feeling that it offers little when compared to the Indian Medical Council Act 1956 (which saw multiple amendments), that led to the formation of the Medical Council of India (MCI), a body which was accused of rampant corruption. The NMC Act, in the garb of change, has some provisions which are far more problematic than those in the amended MCI Act.
The constitution of the medical commission as proposed in the Act has issues of subjugating federalism at multiple levels. The nomination of important functionaries of the NMC will rest exclusively with the Centre: This will give rise to nepotism and the promotion of a lackey culture, that had infested the MCI. Even the Medical Advisory Council, proposed in the Act, has nominated members from the states, thereby reducing the role of states to being consultative.