With a view to introduce an autonomous body under the country’s apex medical education regulator, the draft National Medical Commission Bill 2022 was introduced. The new body will conduct the National Exit Test (NExT), which will act as a qualifying exam for granting registration to doctors as well as the basis for further postgraduate admissions.
Touted as ‘Board of Examinations in Medical Sciences’, the body will be set up to take over the functions of the National Board of Examinations, which currently conducts the entrance tests for all post-graduation and other super-speciality courses.
The National Board of Examinations also conducts the entrance cum screening test for foreign medical graduates. But if the Bill becomes a law, it will be replaced by the new NExT examination.
Other than this, the proposed board will also check the accreditation of institutions for diploma, and postgraduate fellowships, as well as super-speciality fellowships. It will also underline the minimum requirements for conducting these courses and also grant them.
The draft also defines provisions for patients and their relatives to get to the Ethics and Medical Registration board or the National Medical Commission against decisions of the state medical council in cases of medical negligence.
The draft bill also mentions the existing National Board of Examinations to be abolished. However, all the orders or accreditation structured by the body will continue to exist till the date of expiry.
Meanwhile, the proposed body will be the fifth autonomous board under NMC after the Under-Graduate Medical Education Board, which assures and sets guidelines for undergraduate courses, the Post-Graduate Medical Education Board, which defines norms for post-graduate courses, Medical Assessment and Rating Board, which inspects and rates the medical education institutes, and Ethics and Medical Registration Board which regulates the professional conduct of the doctors and registers them.