Putting to rest uncertainty over the fate of the proposed National Council for Human Resources in Health (NCHRH), a separate regulatory body for medical education, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Friday said a bill to set up the council would be introduced in Parliament soon.

The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, after extensive consultations, has prepared a draft Bill for setting up the council. The Bill will seek to create an enabling environment that will address issues of quality, quantity and equitable distribution of medical education resources, Dr. Singh said at the convocation of the All-India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) here.

The Ministry has been demanding a separate regulatory body for medical education, while a task force, set up by the Ministry of Human Resource Development, has also prepared a draft Bill for a National Commission on Higher Education and Research (NCHER) that seeks to bring medical education and legal education under its purview. The Ministries have been involved in the turf war for several months now. While all this was on, the Union Law Ministry also drafted a Bill for establishing a separate regulatory body for legal education.

Announcing the government's vision of making the AIIMS one of the 10 best medical universities in the world by 2020, Dr. Singh said though not an easy job, the government would support all endeavours in this direction.

Describing as a good document the Valiathan Committee Report — set up following the agitation against Other Backward Classes reservation to revamp the premier institution — the Prime Minister said the government would consider the recommendations expeditiously and do what was best in the interest of the Institute.

Dr. Singh said he had told the Health Ministry: “We should have an ambitious and befitting vision of what this great institution should aspire to become, and, therefore, work on a far reaching agenda of reforms.” The Prime Minister went on to compliment the Ministry for its efforts to improve internal governance and management of the Institute.

In India, and globally as well, there is a growing sense that medical education needs to be revamped to adapt it to contemporary needs and reality. “The need of the hour is to produce professionals who address health not only from the perspective of the individual patient, but as part of a team integrated into the larger health system. Inter-disciplinary and health system connectivity have to be the key coordinates on which medical education has to advance.”