India’s lower house of the parliament (the Lok Sabha) has recently passed the Indian Medical Council (Amendment) Bill 2019 to supersede Medical Council of India (MCI).
MCI has already been superseded by a board of governors (BOG) entrusted to run the apex regulator of the country’s medical education through the Indian Medical Council (Amendment) Ordinance, 2018.
The Indian Medical Council (Amendment) Bill 2019 will replace the ordinance. The bill also proposes to increase the number of members in BoG to 12 from the existing 7.
Moving the bill in the parliament, Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan said that the bill would be a radical reform in the country’s medical education system and urged the members to ensure its safe passage as it was in public interest.
The BoG has granted accreditation to more number of medical colleges, increased number of seats and reduced procedural hurdles, he said.
MCI was caught in the crosshairs sometime back as the health ministry found the body was acting arbitrarily disregarding the provisions of the IMC Act, 1956 and regulations, which the regulatory body was supposed to abide by.
A subsequent oversight committee constituted by the Supreme Court to oversee the functioning of MCI had also cited instances of non-compliance of their instructions.
Then the ministry resorted to the ordinance route to replace MCI with the BOG under the chairmanship of Dr. V.K. Paul, Member NITI Aayog and six other members.