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Medical Education Reforms – The Big Picture – RSTV IAS UPSC

  • IASbaba
  • December 24, 2020
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The Big Picture- RSTV, UPSC Articles
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Medical Education Reforms

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TOPIC: General Studies 2

  • Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.
  • Issues relating to development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health, Education, Human Resources.

In News: In a significant step towards affordable medical education, the National Medical Commission has notified its first major regulation. Titled as “Minimum Requirements for Annual MBBS Admissions Regulations, 2020”, the notification issued replaces the “Minimum Standard Requirements for Medical Colleges, 1999” of the erstwhile Medical Council of India. 

The New Regulation

  • Applicable to all new medical colleges proposing to be established, and to the established medical colleges proposing to increase their annual MBBS intake from the academic year 2021-22
  • During the transitory period, the established medical colleges will be governed by the relevant regulations existing prior to the current notification. 
  • The new standards have been defined keeping the functional requirements of the institution(s). These allow optimization and flexibility in utilizing available resources, and harnessing modern educational technology tools to facilitate moving towards quality education, even when resources are relatively scarce. 

The Requirements

  • It is mandatory to set up a fully functional 300-bed multi-speciality hospital for at least two years at the time of application for establishing a new college. As per the new norms, the beds required in various departments of the teaching hospital have also been rationalized to align with the annual student intake, teaching time to be spent in clinical specialties and the minimum clinical material required for undergraduate medical training.
  • As for the teaching faculty, over and above the minimum prescribed faculty, a provision for “visiting faculty” has been made to enhance quality of training. 
  • Two new teaching departments — departments of emergency medicine and physical medicine and rehabilitation — have now become mandatory in all medical college hospitals for the training of undergraduate medical students.
  • A well-equipped “Skills Laboratory” for training students is essential now.
  • Defines a Medical Education Unit for training medical teachers in educational pedagogy. The space required for library and the number of books and journals have been rationalized and reduced.
  • Student counselling services has been mandated recognizing the increasing stress observed amongst medical students and residents in recent times.
  • Deleted the quantum of land required for setting up a medical college and its affiliated teaching hospitals (all buildings are expected to conform to existing building bye-laws). The notification defines the minimum requirements of space for all student centric areas in the institution and the functional areas required. The standards outline the sharing of all available teaching spaces by all departments (compared to the inflexibility in the regulations so far) thereby mandating all teaching spaces to be enabled for e-learning and also digitally linked to one another (it was only desirable earlier).

National Medical Commission

National Medical Commission (NMC) has come into being from 25 September and the six-decade-old Indian Medical Council Act 1956 has been repealed. All its bodies such as the Medical Council of India and Board of Governors, which superseded the MCI on September 26, 2018, have also been dissolved.

  • Along with NMC, the four Autonomous Boards of UG and PG Medical Education Boards, Medical Assessment and Rating Board, and Ethics and Medical Registration Board have also been constituted.
  • The Regulator is now ‘selected’ on merits, as opposed to an ‘elected’ Regulator.
  • Dr S C Sharma (retd. Prof, ENT, AIIMS, Delhi) has been selected as the Chairperson for a period of three years. 
  • Besides the Chairperson, NMC will have 10 ex-officio members.

There are four autonomous boards under the NMC Act

  1. The Under-Graduate Medical Education Board (UGMEB)
  2. The Post-Graduate Medical Education Board (PGMEB)
  3. The Medical Assessment and Rating Board
  4. The Ethics and Medical Registration Board. 

Functions of the NMC 

  • Framing policies for regulating medical institutions and medical professionals
  • Assessing the requirements of healthcare related human resources and infrastructure
  • Ensuring compliance by the State Medical Councils of the regulations made under the Bill
  • Framing guidelines for determination of fees for up to 50 percent of the seats in private medical institutions and deemed universities which are regulated under the Bill.

The NMC will frame policies and co-ordinate the activities of four autonomous boards.  Each autonomous board will consist of a president and four members, appointed by the central government. These boards are—Under-Graduate Medical Education Board (UGMEB), Post-Graduate Medical Education Board (PGMEB), Medical Assessment and Rating Board (MARB) and the Ethics and Medical Registration Board (EMRB).

Must read: Tamil Nadu NEET Quota

Connecting the Dots:

  1. National Medical Commission
  2. The present status of medical education in India leaves a lot to be desired. Do you agree? 

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