NMC Bill will badly hit healthcare, say docs

The National Medical Commission (NMC) Bill, tabled in Parliament in December 2017, will  hamper the quality of healthcare in the country, doctors have warned.  

Expressing concerns over certain aspects of the bill, Alexander Thomas, president,  Association of Healthcare Providers' of India (AHPI), said the inclusion  of Ayush  into modern medicine through a bridge course was "unacceptable".  Ayush and modern medicine have their own way of treatment that cannot be integrated, he added.

"The founding principles of modern medicine are evidence-based and rooted in the standard treatment protocol. They have nothing in common with the traditional systems of medicine," he said.

Doctors have called for doing away with exit exams after MBBS and stressed the need for increasing the number of elected representatives from the medical fraternity, which is currently around 20%.

Opening more government medical colleges that can be accessed by the poorest students is another demand.  There are 63,000 undergraduate medical seats while just 14,000 postgraduate seats in India. To put things in perspective, the  country has 26 million childbirths a year while a woman dies during childbirth every 12 minutes.  

"How can we cater to 26 million deliveries a year with so few medical specialists?" asked Dr Devi Shetty, founder member, AHPI.  He said India stood 112th in WHO rankings in  providing quality healthcare. "India is ranked lower than Iran, Iraq and Bangladesh," he added.

Dr Ajai Kumar, president, AHPI, Karnataka chapter, said the government should not interfere.  

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