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``Changes will raise medical education''

Special Correspondent

NEW DELHI: The proposed amendments to the Indian Medical Council Act are aimed at reorienting medical education, standardising it to secure universal recognition, reconstituting the virtually defunct Medical Council of India and weeding out corruption, Union Health Minister Anbumani Ramadoss said on Wednesday.

Addressing a Parliamentary Consultative Committee meeting here, he said the reconstituted MCI would give representation to all States and ensure that professionals and experts managed its affairs.

The committee supported the proposals and agreed that medical education needed a revamp. The MCI should be infused with fresh blood to make it transparent and proactive, the committee said and urged the Minister to see that there were no political considerations.

Northeast neglected

Reassuring it that there would be no total revamp in the MCI, he said the changes would raise the standards of medical education to the international level. The MCI did not pay attention to the northeast and backward areas and States. Of the 242 medical colleges in the country, 152 were in Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Karnataka, Gujarat and Maharashtra. There was no coordination between the MCI and the Ministry, with the council filing cases against it.

The new council would have four professionals as ex-officio members — the Director of the All-India Institute of Medical Sciences, the Director-General of the Armed Forces Medical Service, the Director-General of Health Services and the president of the National Board of Examinations.

One-time dissolution

For reconstitution of the council, the existing one would stand dissolved as a one-time measure. Its functions would be discharged by a board of administrators for a period not exceeding six months. Some provisions were being incorporated into the Act to make the council accountable to the Government and Parliament.

The MCI's role would remain recommendatory and the Centre would have the power to modify or reject its suggestions.

Curriculum review

Decisions on admissions and fee structure would be taken in due course. Curriculum would be reviewed every two years and registration of hospitals made compulsory. Rural posting for at least one year would be made mandatory for an MBBS degree, the Minister said.

He agreed to consider the members' suggestion that a medical professional-MP be in the council.

There were also plans to regulate the drug and food industries, he said.

Karan Singh Yadav, A.F. Golam Osmani, Chengara Surendran, Ravi Prakash Verma and M. Jagannath (Lok Sabha), Syeda Anwara Taimur, Vanga Geetha and M.M. Agarwal (Rajya Sabha) attended the meeting.

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