The Health Ministry announced on August 6 that about 75 per cent of the total medical seats in India will be available at reasonable fees after the new National Medical Commission (NMC) Bill will come into being. About 50 per cent of the total MBBS seats in India are in government colleges and have nominal fees. Among the remaining seats, 50 per cent will be regulated by the National Medical Commission which has been established to replace the corruption-plagued MCI (the Medical Council of India).
The Ministry released a statement for allaying fears regarding the NMC Bill in which it said that the state governments will still have the liberty of deciding the fee for the remaining seats in the private medical colleges. They will set the fee structure of these seats on the basis of individual Memorandums of Understandings (MoUs) that they have signed with colleges on mutual agreement.
The National Medical Commission (NMC) Bill seeks to repeal the Indian Medical Council (IMC) Act of 1956 and was passed by a voice vote in the Rajya Sabha on 1st August 2019, amidst a walkout by All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK).
As per the ministry, the Medical Assessment and Rating Board (MARB) will be providing ratings for all medical institutions on the basis of their standard of education and training. They will serve to regulate the fee through market forces. The government said that to boost the medical education sector, it has spent over Rs. 10,000 crores for creating government seats in the last five years and it is also setting up 21 new All India Institutes of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) which has cost them more than Rs. 30,000 crores.
The government also affirmed that the trend of forming government seats will continue in future. The Ministry also said that only those students who have qualified the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET) will be allowed to get admission. The initial non-transparent methods of colleges negotiating with students and conducting their own entrance exams will be scrapped and it will be ensured that merit prevails in medical admissions.