This post has been self-published on Youth Ki Awaaz by Siddharth Tiwari. Just like them, anyone can publish on Youth Ki Awaaz.

The National Medical Council Bill Aims To Improve Healthcare For You, Then Why The Worry?

More from Siddharth Tiwari

The National Medical Commission (NMC) would be a good alternative to the tainted Medical Council of India (MCI) that has been facing severe criticism over the alleged corruption, experts tell Youth Ki Awaaz. They unanimously noted that the NMC bill, currently tabled in the Parliament’s ongoing monsoon session, would make the role of medical regulator more patient-centric than the existing doctor-centric model.

“There’s a gross corruption and mismanagement involved in terms of college accreditations and maintaining uniform quality of medical education in the country. We needed some strong reforms and NMC is in the larger interest of a populous country like India,” pointed out Dr. Shamika Ravi, a senior fellow at Brookings India and author of ‘Restructuring of Medical Council of India’.

The proposed bill, however, hasn’t gone down well with the doctors. Highlighting the bureaucratic overreach in appointing members to the advisory board, Indian Medical Association (IMA) has called the NMC bill undemocratic.

According to IMA President Dr. KK Agarwal, “By dissolving a democratically elected body of 150 medical professionals and replacing it with a body of 25 members of which 20 will be nominated by the government is undemocratic. It’s a clear indication that government is hell-bent to take control over the medical profession.”

Why NMC?

According to medical experts and industry insiders, MCI is a failed institution and there was a pressing need to revamp the regulatory mechanism of medical education and practice. The Parliamentary Health Committee in its March 2016 report noted that MCI has failed on all accounts to act as a neutral regulator.

The Niti Aayog had also pointed out that the medical regulator had failed to produce doctors suited to meet the Indian context.

Commenting on the deep-rooted corruption in MCI and why private doctors are up in arms against the NMC bills, a Jaipur-based medical representative under the condition of anonymity told YKA, “MCI is a body of corrupt doctors that want to safeguard their interests. Doctors right during the graduation or post-graduation courses become part of doctor-pharma nexus. Officially IMA and MCI have issued guidelines to discourage this nexus. But, that’s eyewash.”

The proposed NMC bill is a resultant of two-year-long deliberations with the medical experts, policymakers, and various stakeholders.

What Are The Objections?

1.) Checks and Balances:

The NMC bill was floated to ensure transparency with the division of powers. Under the NMC  three independent boards-Search and Selection Committee (SSC), Medical Advisory Council, and the National Medical Commission- will operate with autonomy from the others, thereby creating a mechanism for check and balances.

But according to IMA’s President Dr. KK Agarwal, “Whatever changes they are suggesting through NMC, they can easily bring them by amending MCI. All we want is dismiss NMC and amend MCI. The autonomy of the medical profession shouldn’t be comprised by bureaucratic control.”

2) Integrated Health Care Model

The first draft of the Bill proposes to streamline various AYUSH and Homeopathic practitioners and create an integrated healthcare model where the state governments decide the modalities of the provision.

Many fear the integration of the AYUSH doctors will legitimise the quackery.

However, according to experts, the integration of Homeopathy, Ayurveda and other alternative medicinal practitioners is in line with WHO-approved ‘Task Shifting’ mechanism to address the scarcity of doctors. Under this mechanism, less specialised health workers are trained to strengthen and expand the health workforce.

3.) Fee Structure And Exit Exams:

The NMC bill proposes that the government will determine and regulate the fee structure of 50% of the seats in private medical colleges. The government has claimed that it will provide the students from poor background to pursue medical education which was earlier impossible due to high fee structures of the medical institutions.

“Not everyone is part of the creamy layer that makes to the government colleges. And the high fees of private colleges was a deterrent for the medical aspirants from the poor background. While it is still to be seen how much of this translates into reality, it’s a positive step from the government to make medical education in private institutions accessible to all,” said Dr. Jayesh Sheth, founder, and chairman at Foundation for Research in Genetics and Endocrinology, Institute of Human Genetics.

But, the public statement issued by IMA said, “Reservation of 50% of the seats for the rich, who can pay, is denial of equitable opportunities and hence is certainly anti-people.”

Furthermore, after the amendment, the Cabinet has approved that under NMC the final MBBS examination would be held as a common exam across the country. This would serve as an exit test, called the National Exit Test (NEXT), and would be a prerequisite to practice Allopathy. The common exam is expected to ascertain uniform quality of doctors throughout the country.

IMA has called the proposal of centrally-administered common exam anti-federal. It has asserted that the bill marginalises state governments, state medical councils and state health universities.

While the NMC bill aims to cure the medical practice in India, there are widespread apprehensions on its success. This is the second attempt by the Centre to replace MCI in last decade.

You must be to comment.
  1. Pooja Jangra

    Superb article… thanks for sharing with us, keep posting…
    for more information about NRC and Medical council bill amis must visit here: https://bit.ly/2OwjKK8 , https://bit.ly/2n9Ymy1

  2. Meetika

    NMC Bill proposed AYUSH and Homeopathy doctors to study for a few more years and pursue allopathy. This is dangerous to public. If govt. really wants to increase number and quality of doctors then MBBS colleges must be increased. There is a reason that those pathies are different from allopathy. Allopathy is not just about studying pharmacology it is more then that.
    The EXIT exam after MBBS exam puts a question mark on all the hardwork a student does all his life. Struggle of admission (50,000 seats for MBBS (>50% are of pvt. collegegs) for which atleast 8-10 lakhs of students compete) struggle of MBBS (studies, postings, night duties, professional exams and what not) is something you will never understand. We spend 5.5 years of our life studying rigorously, sacrificing our personal lives. Agreed, all doctors aren’t perfect but, they provide you with best of their knowledge. Then also this does not end, there more to it – NEET PG which is again tiring. In the midst of this you want to add another exam, which will put a question mark on our 5.5 years of hardwork. You won’t let us be in peace ever. It’s easy to question others but not easy to experience ot yourself. I am not trying to offend you but please understand the problems of a doctor also when they are trying to comprehend ordeal of every person coming to them.

    1. Meetika

      Please, ignore grammatical errors.

    2. Antar Agni

      No..they haven’t proposed anything like that.there are no such information regarding “Bridge Courses” for AYUSH or Homeopathy doctors.plz get your fact correct….

More from Siddharth Tiwari

Similar Posts

By Javed Abidi Foundation

By Kunwar Nitin Pratap Gurjar

By Survivors Against TB

Wondering what to write about?

Here are some topics to get you started

Share your details to download the report.









We promise not to spam or send irrelevant information.

Share your details to download the report.









We promise not to spam or send irrelevant information.

An ambassador and trained facilitator under Eco Femme (a social enterprise working towards menstrual health in south India), Sanjina is also an active member of the MHM Collective- India and Menstrual Health Alliance- India. She has conducted Menstrual Health sessions in multiple government schools adopted by Rotary District 3240 as part of their WinS project in rural Bengal. She has also delivered training of trainers on SRHR, gender, sexuality and Menstruation for Tomorrow’s Foundation, Vikramshila Education Resource Society, Nirdhan trust and Micro Finance, Tollygunj Women In Need, Paint It Red in Kolkata.

Now as an MH Fellow with YKA, she’s expanding her impressive scope of work further by launching a campaign to facilitate the process of ensuring better menstrual health and SRH services for women residing in correctional homes in West Bengal. The campaign will entail an independent study to take stalk of the present conditions of MHM in correctional homes across the state and use its findings to build public support and political will to take the necessary action.

Saurabh has been associated with YKA as a user and has consistently been writing on the issue MHM and its intersectionality with other issues in the society. Now as an MHM Fellow with YKA, he’s launched the Right to Period campaign, which aims to ensure proper execution of MHM guidelines in Delhi’s schools.

The long-term aim of the campaign is to develop an open culture where menstruation is not treated as a taboo. The campaign also seeks to hold the schools accountable for their responsibilities as an important component in the implementation of MHM policies by making adequate sanitation infrastructure and knowledge of MHM available in school premises.

Read more about his campaign.

Harshita is a psychologist and works to support people with mental health issues, particularly adolescents who are survivors of violence. Associated with the Azadi Foundation in UP, Harshita became an MHM Fellow with YKA, with the aim of promoting better menstrual health.

Her campaign #MeriMarzi aims to promote menstrual health and wellness, hygiene and facilities for female sex workers in UP. She says, “Knowledge about natural body processes is a very basic human right. And for individuals whose occupation is providing sexual services, it becomes even more important.”

Meri Marzi aims to ensure sensitised, non-discriminatory health workers for the needs of female sex workers in the Suraksha Clinics under the UPSACS (Uttar Pradesh State AIDS Control Society) program by creating more dialogues and garnering public support for the cause of sex workers’ menstrual rights. The campaign will also ensure interventions with sex workers to clear misconceptions around overall hygiene management to ensure that results flow both ways.

Read more about her campaign.

MH Fellow Sabna comes with significant experience working with a range of development issues. A co-founder of Project Sakhi Saheli, which aims to combat period poverty and break menstrual taboos, Sabna has, in the past, worked on the issue of menstruation in urban slums of Delhi with women and adolescent girls. She and her team also released MenstraBook, with menstrastories and organised Menstra Tlk in the Delhi School of Social Work to create more conversations on menstruation.

With YKA MHM Fellow Vineet, Sabna launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society. As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

Read more about her campaign. 

A student from Delhi School of Social work, Vineet is a part of Project Sakhi Saheli, an initiative by the students of Delhi school of Social Work to create awareness on Menstrual Health and combat Period Poverty. Along with MHM Action Fellow Sabna, Vineet launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society.

As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

Find out more about the campaign here.

A native of Bhagalpur district – Bihar, Shalini Jha believes in equal rights for all genders and wants to work for a gender-equal and just society. In the past she’s had a year-long association as a community leader with Haiyya: Organise for Action’s Health Over Stigma campaign. She’s pursuing a Master’s in Literature with Ambedkar University, Delhi and as an MHM Fellow with YKA, recently launched ‘Project अल्हड़ (Alharh)’.

She says, “Bihar is ranked the lowest in India’s SDG Index 2019 for India. Hygienic and comfortable menstruation is a basic human right and sustainable development cannot be ensured if menstruators are deprived of their basic rights.” Project अल्हड़ (Alharh) aims to create a robust sensitised community in Bhagalpur to collectively spread awareness, break the taboo, debunk myths and initiate fearless conversations around menstruation. The campaign aims to reach at least 6000 adolescent girls from government and private schools in Baghalpur district in 2020.

Read more about the campaign here.

A psychologist and co-founder of a mental health NGO called Customize Cognition, Ritika forayed into the space of menstrual health and hygiene, sexual and reproductive healthcare and rights and gender equality as an MHM Fellow with YKA. She says, “The experience of working on MHM/SRHR and gender equality has been an enriching and eye-opening experience. I have learned what’s beneath the surface of the issue, be it awareness, lack of resources or disregard for trans men, who also menstruate.”

The Transmen-ses campaign aims to tackle the issue of silence and disregard for trans men’s menstruation needs, by mobilising gender sensitive health professionals and gender neutral restrooms in Lucknow.

Read more about the campaign here.

A Computer Science engineer by education, Nitisha started her career in the corporate sector, before realising she wanted to work in the development and social justice space. Since then, she has worked with Teach For India and Care India and is from the founding batch of Indian School of Development Management (ISDM), a one of its kind organisation creating leaders for the development sector through its experiential learning post graduate program.

As a Youth Ki Awaaz Menstrual Health Fellow, Nitisha has started Let’s Talk Period, a campaign to mobilise young people to switch to sustainable period products. She says, “80 lakh women in Delhi use non-biodegradable sanitary products, generate 3000 tonnes of menstrual waste, that takes 500-800 years to decompose; which in turn contributes to the health issues of all menstruators, increased burden of waste management on the city and harmful living environment for all citizens.

Let’s Talk Period aims to change this by

Find out more about her campaign here.

Share your details to download the report.









We promise not to spam or send irrelevant information.

A former Assistant Secretary with the Ministry of Women and Child Development in West Bengal for three months, Lakshmi Bhavya has been championing the cause of menstrual hygiene in her district. By associating herself with the Lalana Campaign, a holistic menstrual hygiene awareness campaign which is conducted by the Anahat NGO, Lakshmi has been slowly breaking taboos when it comes to periods and menstrual hygiene.

A Gender Rights Activist working with the tribal and marginalized communities in india, Srilekha is a PhD scholar working on understanding body and sexuality among tribal girls, to fill the gaps in research around indigenous women and their stories. Srilekha has worked extensively at the grassroots level with community based organisations, through several advocacy initiatives around Gender, Mental Health, Menstrual Hygiene and Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR) for the indigenous in Jharkhand, over the last 6 years.

Srilekha has also contributed to sustainable livelihood projects and legal aid programs for survivors of sex trafficking. She has been conducting research based programs on maternal health, mental health, gender based violence, sex and sexuality. Her interest lies in conducting workshops for young people on life skills, feminism, gender and sexuality, trauma, resilience and interpersonal relationships.

A Guwahati-based college student pursuing her Masters in Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Bidisha started the #BleedwithDignity campaign on the technology platform Change.org, demanding that the Government of Assam install
biodegradable sanitary pad vending machines in all government schools across the state. Her petition on Change.org has already gathered support from over 90000 people and continues to grow.

Bidisha was selected in Change.org’s flagship program ‘She Creates Change’ having run successful online advocacy
campaigns, which were widely recognised. Through the #BleedwithDignity campaign; she organised and celebrated World Menstrual Hygiene Day, 2019 in Guwahati, Assam by hosting a wall mural by collaborating with local organisations. The initiative was widely covered by national and local media, and the mural was later inaugurated by the event’s chief guest Commissioner of Guwahati Municipal Corporation (GMC) Debeswar Malakar, IAS.

Sign up for the Youth Ki Awaaz Prime Ministerial Brief below