The Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan has announced that National Eligibility cum Entrance Test for Post Graduation popularly known as NEET-PG will continue for three additional years. He made this statement while speaking at a press conference where Minister of State for Health Mr Ashwini Kumar Chaubey was also present.
As the President Mr Ramnath Kovind gave his nod to National Medical Commission (NMC) Bill, the medical sector in India is set to undergo a change on a large scale. The new regulator will replace its older version Medical Council of India which was accused of hefty corruption.
The Union Minister has stated that his ministry plans to set up NMC in six months instead of eight months as stated according to the law a few days back. Additionally, the Ministry plans to roll out the much anticipated National Exit Test in three years.
He further informed the Press that the final exam that will take place during the final year of MBBS will serve as Exit Test. It will be having three purposes: licentiate exam for those students who would be passing the MBBS degree; entrance for admission into several PG courses; entrance test for those who had taken their Medical degrees from foreign Universities.
Once the NMC comes up, it will start working on the modalities of the proposed exit test which will be of objective type most probably. From the Minister’s statement it is clear that NEET PG exam will continue to exist for the next three years until the Exit Test comes up. Once this test takes shape and is implemented successfully, it will serve as an entrance exam for admission into PG courses offered by institutes such as AIIMS, JIPMER, PGI and several other govt recognised medical institutes.
Mr Vardhan said that this bill would be useful in achieving the mandated ratio of doctor: patient ratio of 1:1000 in duration of seven years. Currently this ratio stands at 1:1500 in India. Under this Bill the Health Workers which are of community level will be serving under the mid-level cadre. Under the Ayushman Bharat Scheme, several new medical centres will come up.
Many Medical Professionals had urged that NMC Bill would encourage quackery. Addressing this issue, the Minister said that it is just a myth. The Bill introduces one year jail term and Rs 5 lakh fine for those who are found indulging in quackery.
Speaking on the issue of fee regulation, the Minister stated that currently India has more than 80,000 Medical seats. Out of these, almost half are in govt run colleges and hence are already subsidized. Once NMC Bill comes into force, it would regularize half of medical and dental seats present in private colleges. With the Bill, over 75% of such seats will be regularized which doesn’t exist today.