Doctors hold nationwide protest against National Medical Commission Bill

The members of the Indian Medical Association (IMA) held protests against the proposed National Medical Commission (NMC) Bill, which will scrap the Medical Council of India (MCI). The NMC will replace the MCI with a 20 member nominated body. The bill proposes to induct non-medical persons into NMC.

The MCI is a 130-member elected body. Presently, all the doctors in India have the right to vote for electing the functionaries of MCI. Additionally, any registered medical practitioner can contest elections.

Protestors opposed NMC bill on the ground that the move is undemocratic in nature and will make them answerable to the bureaucracy and non-medical administrators. This according to them will take away the sanctity of the profession. However, MCI has faced severe criticism for alleged corruption in the context of corruption charges against MCI’s former president Dr Ketan Desai. In the light of the corruption charges, Supreme Court has appointed a three-member Oversight Committee headed by ex-Chief Justice of India R M Lodha to oversee the functioning of the MCI.