MBBS Pass Outs May Have To Clear Next To Practice: Draft Bill

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New Delhi: Soon MBBS pass outs from government as well as private medical colleges will have to clear the National Exit Test (NEXT) to be able to practice as a registered medical practitioner.

The provision is part of a bill drafted by the Ministry of Health on the basis of reforms suggested by a high-powered committee led by Niti Aayog vice-chairman Arvind Panagariya to address concerns over quality of education in medical colleges and of doctors, said a senior health ministry official.

The health ministry has published the draft bill – named the Indian Medical Council (Amendment) Bill, 2016 – on its website and has sought feedback from public till January 6.
The bill also proposes conducting common counselling for entry to Post-Graduate courses in all medical colleges.

“Many institutes which are deemed universities and private colleges, want to conduct their own counselling so that they can pick and choose which may result in capitation fees because the number of NEET pass outs is three times more than the number of seats,” said another official.

“By introducing common counselling, our attempt is to streamline the system so that the seats are allotted strictly on merit-cum-choice basis from among the eligible candidates.” Apart from that, the bill proposes that the state governments reserve up to 50 per cent of seats in post-graduate courses in government colleges for doctors who have served at least three years in remote areas.

After acquiring PG degrees, medical officers may be required to serve up to three years in remote and difficult areas by state governments and Union territories. “The idea is to encourage more and more MBBS pass outs to go and practice in remote and rural areas,” the official added.

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