Lok Sabha passed Indian Medical Council (Amendment) Bill, 2018 to allow panel of eminent professionals to run Medical Council of India (MCI) so that medical education can be regulated in the best manner. The Bill seeks to replace an ordinance issued in September 2018 that amended Indian Medical Council Act (IMC), 1956 which sets up Medical Council of India (MCI) and regulates medical education and practice.
FEATURES OF BILL
Supersession of MCI: The IMC Act, 1956 provides for supersession of MCI and its reconstitution within period of three years. The Bill amends this provision to provide for supersession of the MCI for period of one year. In the interim period, it allows central government to constitute Board of Governors (BoG), which will exercise the powers of MCI.
Selection of Board of Governors: The parent Act provides for BoG to consist of up to seven members including persons of eminence in medical education, appointed by central government. It empowers central government to select one of these members as Chairperson of Board. The Bill amends this provision to allow for eminent administrators to be selected in Board. Further, it provides for BoG to be assisted by Secretary General appointed by central government.
This Bill superseded MCI and powers of the council had been vested in Board of Governors (BoG). The BoG will have all eminent personalities and include directors of AIIMS and PGI, Chandigarh. It will continue to perform till a council is constituted.
Note: A separate Bill (National Medical Commission Bill, 2017) to replace MCI with the National Medical Commission is pending in Parliament.
Medical Council of India (MCI)
It is statutory body, established under Indian Medical Council Act 1956. It regulates standards of medical education. It grants permission to start colleges, courses or increase the number of seats. It also set standards of professional conduct of medical practitioners such as registration of doctors etc.
Issues with MCI
- MCI has failed to produce sufficient number of doctors, for instance, there is one doctor for every 1,674 people against WHO norm of one doctor for every 1000 people.
- It was not able to reduce shortage of teachers in medical colleges and poor regulation of undergraduate and postgraduate courses.
- It also has faced with issue of lack of accountability, alleged corruptions and failure to discharge mandated responsibilities.