The Union Health Ministry on Thursday approved the revised draft for the proposed National Council for Human Resource in Health (NCHRH), which will be an overarching body for the health sector.

The new draft proposes a National Committee for Accreditation and a National Medical Education and Training Board that will register and accredit medical colleges and prepare curricula for all streams of education in the health sector. The powers of the existing councils, including the Medical Council of India, will be substantially reduced and they will deal only with licensing, continuing education and ethics. These bodies, though under the general supervision of the NCHRH, will be entirely independent in their structure and functioning, and will consist of senior professional, selected or nominated through a rigorous process. The NCHRH will be a 15-member body.

The original NCHRH Bill was re-drafted after several States raised objections on the ground that the body was highly centralised and would usurp the powers of the States. The re-constituted task force on NCHRH held several rounds of consultations in New Delhi, Chennai, Kolkata and Mumbai before coming up with the revised version.

At a presentation made before Health Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad on Thursday, the task force dropped the word ‘commission,' proposed earlier, in favour of ‘council', to avoid any confusion with the National Commission on Higher Education and Research, the draft for which was prepared by another task force set up by the Human Resource Development Ministry, as an overarching regulatory body in which medical education is sought to be included. Several features in the new Bill are more or less those proposed in the earlier version. Mr. Azad will now decide whether to get the new draft approved by the Prime Minister first or go to the Central Health Council of Health and Family Welfare, which was scheduled to meet on Friday. The meeting was postponed to get the Minister's approval for the new draft.