AIIMS' Professor Suresh Chandra Sharma appointed as the Chairman: National Medical Commission

Dr. Suresh C Sharma, Professor, and Head of Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery at All India Institute of Medical Science was on January 02, 2020, appointed as the Chairman of National Medical Commission of India. 

Dr. Sharma graduated with an MBBS degree from SMS Medical College, Jaipur (Rajasthan). He then continued his post-graduate program- MS with specialization in ENT from the Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER), Chandigarh - India. After that, he began his career by working as a faculty at PGIMER, Chandigarh until March 2000. He was trained at MSKCC, New York with Prof. Jatin Shah in head and neck surgery.

After his training from MSKCC, Dr. Sharma moved back to PGIMER and developed a Head & Neck Cancer Surgery and Skull base surgery.

At AIIMS, along with Head & Neck Surgery, Dr. Sharma developed skull base surgery, and surgery for head & neck paraganglioma, cochlear implant, Robotic and minimal invasive surgery for head & neck tumors.

Coming to National Medical Commission, the appointment committee found Dr. Suresh Sharma a suitable person to be the chairman of NMC. He has been appointed as the Chairman for a period of three years or till the age of 70 years.

National Medical Commission bill is introduced to repeal the Indian Medical Council Act, 1956. This bill is to improve the medical education system in India by ensuring the 

  1. availability of adequate and high-quality medical professionals,
  2. adoption of the latest medical research by medical professionals,
  3. periodic assessment if medical institutions, and 
  4. an effective grievance redressal mechanism.

Important features of NMC

  1. The introduction of the bill is to make improvements to the medical education system in India. This includes the change in the examination process.
  2. National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET) and Common Counseling will be done for all undergraduate and postgraduate medical admissions.
  3. The introduction of a new form of examination called National Exit Test (NEXT) for the
    • Licentiate exam of the final year MBBS students.
    • Admissions for postgraduate courses- to replace NEET-PG Test
    • Licentiate Examination for Foreign Medical Graduates, thereby replacing the FMGE/MCI Screening Test.

  4. National Medical Commission will also control the fees and charges of 50 percent seats of the private colleges as well as the deemed universities in India.

National Medical Commission functions

The functions of NMC includes:

  1. laying down the policies for regulating medical institutions and medical professionals
  2. Assessing the requirements of human resources and infrastructure in healthcare,
  3. Ensuring compliance by the State Medical Councils with the regulations made under the Bill, and
  4. Framing guidelines for determination of fee for up to 50% of seats in the private medical institutions

Regulatory bodies under NMC

The National Medical Commission is formed with the introduction of four autonomous bodies: 

  1. Undergraduate Medical Education Board
  2. Postgraduate Medical Education Board
  3. Medical Assessment and Rating Board (MARB)
  4. Ethics and Registration Board.

To ensure the adequate performance of the NMC, these four bodies have their own responsibilities to fulfill.  The Undergraduate and Postgraduate Medical Education Boards are responsible for setting up and maintenance of norms at the undergraduate and postgraduate levels respectively. The Medical Assessment and Rating Board is responsible for setting up a rating system to measure the performance of medical institutions in the country.  The MARB has the power to inspect and impose penalties and warnings in case of any faulty administrations. It also has the authority to grant permission for setting up of new PG courses and increase the seats in colleges. Ethic and Registration Board maintains the detailed National Register for all the licensed medical practitioners in the country. 

Members of NMC

The members of NMC consists of 25 members which includes 

  1. Director Generals of the Directorate General of Health Services and the Indian Council of Medical Research
  2. Director of any of the AIIMS
  3. Five members to be as part-time members who will be elected by the registered medical practitioners
  4. Six members appointed on a rotational basis from amongst the nominees of the states in the Medical Advisory Council. 

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