Lok Sabha on Monday passed the Indian Medical Council (Amendment) bill to permit a panel of eminent professionals to run the scam-tainted Medical Council of India (MCI) so that medical education can be regulated in the best manner.
The bill passed by the lower house seeks to replace an ordinance published in this regard in September this year.
Showing the bill, Health Minister Jagat Prakash Nadda said this bill supersedes MCI and the powers of the council have been vested in a Board of Governors (BoG).
The BoG has all eminent personalities and comprises directors of AIIMS and PGI, Chandigarh. This board will continue to perform till a Council is constituted, Mr. Nadda said.
A different bill to replace MCI with National Medical Commission is pending in Parliament.
“This bill has been published so that medical education can be regulated in the best manner, as MCI turned out to be a massive failure,” he said.
The Minister, while discussing on the bill, said the parliamentary panel on Health in its report also cautioned that any attempt to overhaul the medical regulatory system in the country will face huge challenges.
He confirmed that government was forced to come up with this bill as the oversight committee formed by the government on the suggestion of the Supreme Court resigned and the MCI could not function. Thereafter the government came with an ordinance.
Under allegations of corruption against MCI office bearers and probes into opaque accreditation to medical colleges, the Supreme Court had in May 2016 directed the government to set up an oversight committee with the authority to oversee all statutory functions of MCI till the new legislation comes in.
Many of MCI persons have been accused of taking bribes to fast-track accreditation.
In 2017, another Oversight Committee was set up with the approval of the Supreme Court after the expiry of the one year term of the first panel. The second committee was chaired by Dr. V K Paul and covered eminent doctors including those from AIIMS (Delhi), PGI Chandigarh and NIMHANS.