The World Medical Association (WMA), an international forum of the medical fraternity, has warned that should the National Medical Commission (NMC) Bill be passed, more Indian doctors would be forced to head out of the country.
According to The Hindu, the global body has written to the Chairman of India’s Parliamentary Standing Committee on Health and Family Welfare in this regard.
The letter comes weeks after doctors from various organisations in the country expressed dissatisfaction over several clauses in the proposed bill.
“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,” says the WMA in its letter.
The letter signed by WMA President Yoshitake Yokokura and WMA Chair Ardis Hoven reads: “there is absolutely no evidence from anywhere in the world that the regulation of a profession is better done by government.”
It may be recollected that in December last year the bill was tabled in the parliament, and the Indian Medical Association (IMA) and other representative bodies of doctors from across the country had submitted a memorandum to the union government expressing disagreement with a few new clauses in the bill. Following this, it has been referred to a Standing Parliamentary Committee for revision.
Meanwhile, Deccan Chronicle reported that Dr KK Aggarwal, former president of the IMA, said, “The Medical Council of India was restored in 2013. There is no quantifiable evidence which states that the body was corrupt. There have only been a series of allegations. The cases have not been proved and it has shown that it is only to malign doctors. Regulation is required but not by bringing a draconian act which will replace the professional autonomy of doctors.”
He also recollected that there was not a single complaint pertaining to the Medical Council of India, when a full-time administrator was appointed by the Delhi High Court to oversee the functioning of this body for a year.
Doctors have had specific dissent over clauses that propose introducing a separate exit exam for MBBS students to be able to practice, having a ‘bridge course’ with the completion of which doctors from alternative systems of medicine are allowed to prescribe allopathic medicines and sections that pertain to the fee for medical education.