A lot has been happening in India’s medical industry. The last few weeks have seen some major developments including the participation of the government as well as the medical fraternity of the country. Therefore, in today’s updates, we have listed down some of the biggest news pieces from the last few weeks that are essential for medical aspirants as well as students to know about.
Since the passing of the National Medical Commission by the President of India, Shri Ram Nath Kovind, there have been several objections from the medical fraternity of India. As a first step towards clarification, Union Health Minister Dr. Harsh Vardhan recently held a press conference where he entertained questions and provided answers to bring more understanding about the said Bill.
When asked about the guarantee of private colleges agreeing to cut fees in accordance with the regulation by the government, Dr. Harsh Vardhan said the guidelines so framed in this matter will be statutory in nature and binding on the private medical colleges and deemed universities. Therefore, the rules on fee regulation will have to be followed by law.
Dr. Harsh Vardhan was then asked about the new clause in the NMC about the proposed ranking system. Answering the question, the Union Health Minister said the Medical Assessment and Rating Board will be setting down the guidelines for the ranking in due time. Moreover, the performance of students in the National Exit Test (NEXT) will be one of the key criteria for the determination of ranking.
Speaking on the advantage of NMC for Foreign Medical Graduates, the minister said owing to the NEXT, and the granting of licenses based on the singular exam, there will be equality between those graduating from foreign universities and those graduating from Indian medical colleges. Additionally, there is also scope for an increase in the number of medical seats in the country.
On the controversial subject of pay disparity between Indian and FMG, Dr. Harsh Vardhan said for govt hospitals, the pay is decided by the State governments, while in private hospitals, the same is done by the employer or the management of the concerned hospital. The Central govt has no role to play in this regard, he added. However, he hopes that the implementation of NMC will bring down instances of such situations in the country.
The Technical Committee of Medical Council of India has given its agreement for 6 new medical colleges in Tamil Nadu. State Health Minister Shri C Vijaybhaskar said the same could come into force upon getting a final nod from the committee in power. If, and when implemented, the number of seats in government medical colleges in the state would also rise to 4,150. The regions selected for the 6 new colleges are Ramanathapuram, Virudhunagar, Nilgiris, Dindigul, Tirupur, and Namakkal. The State Health Minister said, to work towards a confirmed approval from the committee in power, the state govt has already allotted land and started with the appointment of doctors and staff for the hospitals.
Starting 2020, NEET will be mandatory for MBBS admissions at AIIMS now along with all changes applicable to the test pattern also. This proposal was made as a part of the National Medical Commission Bill, 2019, to merge the entrances to all medical colleges in India. The proposal will now come into action starting in 2020. The students preparing for admission to AIIMS can expect certain changes in the exam pattern in the case of NEET. AIIMS exam was online while NEET is a pen-paper based offline exam. The duration for the AIIMS entrance exam was three hours and thirty minutes with five sections; NEET is 3 hours with 3 sections. AIIMS entrance exam had logical thinking and general knowledge section along with the three primary subject-based sections, however the same is not included in the NEET exam pattern. AIIMS was in English, Hindi, while NEET is in English, Hindi, Assamese, Bengali, Gujarati, Kannada, Marathi, Odia, Tamil, Telugu, and Urdu.
A group of foreign medical aspirants has filed a petition in the apex court challenging the validity of the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test. The group of students has found support in the All India Foreign Medical Graduates Association (AIFMGA) to appeal to Supreme Court to put a hold on Act 39 of 2016 that makes it mandatory to qualify NEET even for Foreign Medical colleges. The petitioners said the foreign medical universities have their own screening procedures and the Indian authorities should have no power to dictate entry to those universities.
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