With uncertainty over the nature of the proposed National Council for Human Resource in Health (NCHRH) as an overarching regulatory body for health care still prevailing, the National Board of Examinations (NBE) on Sunday said that it was in “full alignment” with the objective of the government to revamp the regulatory framework.

The NBE governing body discussed the suggestions made at the consultation meeting held in June, where the representatives of the accredited institutions and experts had pitched for NBE as an independent entity in the medical education sector, and said that it should exist as a separate autonomous statutory body in the field of post graduate medical education. The post graduate medical education board of India should be a national authority on assessment and examination to provide a complementary and supplementary role in the NCHRH, the recommendations had said.

According to board president Srinath Reddy, the members agreed that the board was performing an important function of creating a parallel cadre of Post Graduate students in medicine and also conducting courses ranging from rural surgery to aviation medicine which were not available in the traditional stream. “Since the NBE makes a significant contribution to the health sector by way of trainings and courses, its functions must be preserved in the new structure,” he said.

An autonomous body, the NBE is the only examining organisation of its kind in the country that conducts post graduate examinations in the field of medical sciences, awards Diplomate National Board (DNB) degrees which are now considered equivalent to M.D. degrees, and has been conducting screening tests for foreign medical graduates from 2002 onwards. It also accredits hospitals.

The consultation meeting had recommended that creation of an independent body was needed to bring about standardisation of post graduate medical education.

An apex body, the post graduate medical education board of India, after receiving statutory powers, should be totally responsible for the post graduate qualifications in the country.

Ensure vibrancy

A majority of the participants at consultation meeting supported the case of the NCHRH saying that such an overarching entity would be able to ensure vibrancy and dynamism in the functioning of various constituent bodies and respond to the needs of the health care systems.

There was unanimity that medical education should remain with the proposed NCHRH.