Draft Bill Allows Ayurveda, Homeopathy to Switch to Modern Medicine After ‘Bridge Course’

Draft Bill Allows Ayurveda, Homeopathy to Switch to Modern Medicine After ‘Bridge Course’

The bridge course will be decided upon at a meeting between the proposed National Medical Commission, which will replace the Medical Council of India, the Central Council of Homoeopathy and the Central Council of Indian Medicine.

New Delhi: In a controversial move, the National Medical Commission Bill tabled by the government in the Lok Sabha seeks to allow practitioners of Ayurveda, Homeopathy, Yoga and other alternative medicines to enter the field of modern medicine after completing a “bridge course”.

The bridge course will be decided upon at a meeting between the proposed National Medical Commission, which will replace the Medical Council of India, the Central Council of Homoeopathy and the Central Council of Indian Medicine.

The draft bill was introduced by Union Health Minister JP Nadda to replace and subsume the Medical Council of India (MCI). The National Medical Commission (NMC) Bill, 2017, which was approved by the Union Cabinet on December 18, is to set up a new and transparent system of regulating healthcare.

The NMC is supposed to redress the faults in the system by not letting doctors elect members from their own community to regulate them, a move that has angered the Indian Medical Association, India’s largest voluntary organisation of doctors. Instead, healthcare will now be regulate by people appointed by the Centre and the states, from the ministries of health, of human resource development, and the Department of Pharmaceuticals, experts from health, science, economics, etc.

The Bill will set up the eponymous National Medical Commission to regulate and develop medical education and the profession, and the Medical Advisory Council (MAC), a purely advisory body to aid the NMC and serve as the primary platform for states to put their views forward to the Commission. The Council will have members nominated from every state and Union Territory, and include the members  of the NMC as ex-officio members.

The NMC will consist of four autonomous boards to look at different aspects of medical education, undergraduate, postgraduate, medical assessment and rating, and medical registration. Doctors will now have to pass an exit examination on graduating from their MBBS courses, to get a licence to practice. The same exam will be used as the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET), for post-graduate courses.