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Medical body opposes NMC Bill

More Indian doctors will leave the country, it tells parliamentary panel

The National Medical Commission (NMC) Bill, aimed at replacing the existing Medical Council of India, has now attracted the World Medical Association’s (WMA) criticism.

Warning that the NMC Bill, if passed, would lead to more Indian doctors leaving the country, affecting patient care, the WMA has condemned the government’s plan to dismantle the professional self-governance of Indian physicians.

The global body has written to the Chairman of India’s Parliamentary Standing Committee on Health and Family Welfare saying “professional self-governance is a tried and tested tool for regulating the profession in a responsible and effective way and for protecting it from undue influence, such as economic or political interests.”

According to the letter, jointly signed by WMA president Yoshitake Yokokura and WMA Chair Ardis Hoven: “there is absolutely no evidence from anywhere in the world that the regulation of a profession is better done by government.”

Last month, the Indian Medical Association (IMA) opposed the Bill and appealed to Prime Minister Narendra Modi to recall the draft Bill, which has now been referred to the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Health and Family Welfare. The IMA’s argument was that the NMC would “seriously impede the democratic functioning of the medical profession”.

The WMA’s letter has pointed out that professional self-governance facilitates professional autonomy and clinical independence. It has stated that “a shift from a democratically elected, autonomously governed body to a politically established and government directed body would be counterproductive for patients and for furthering the development of the medical profession in India.”

“India suffers from a strong brain drain. Taking away a part of their professional identity will increase dissatisfaction and frustration and probably lead to an even higher attrition rate,” the letter stated.

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Printable version | Jul 5, 2020 1:32:44 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/medical-body-opposes-nmc-bill/article22597929.ece

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