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Amendments to the National Medical Commission (NMC) Bill Approved

Recommendations made by the Standing Committee and general feedback, particularly the views of medical students and practitioners helped draft the amendments.

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The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi has approved certain official amendments to the National Medical Commission (NMC) Bill.

The Amendment to the NMC Bill comes in the backdrop of its consideration in the Lok Sabha on 02.01.2018 and subsequently being referred to the Department Related Parliamentary Standing Committee (DRPSC).

The Government has considered the recommendations made by the Standing Committee in its report tabled in the House on March 20 and general feedback, particularly the views of medical students and practitioners regarding certain provisions of the Bill.

Details:

The Amendments include:

  • Final MBBS Examination to be held as a common exam across the country and would serve as an exit test called the National Exit Test (NEXT):

Having considered the common demand by the students not to subject them to an additional licentiate exam for the purpose of getting license to practice, the Cabinet has approved that the final MBBS examination would be held as a common exam throughout the country and would serve as an exit test to be called the National Exit Test (NEXT). Thus, the students would not have to appear in a separate exam after MBBS to get a license to practice. NEXT would also serve as the screening test for doctors with foreign medical qualifications in order to practice in India.

  • Provision of Bridge course for AYUSH practitioners to practice modern medicine removed:

The provision dealing with bridge course for AYUSH practitioners to practice modern medicine to a limited extent has also been removed. It has been left to the State Governments to take necessary measures for addressing and promoting primary health care in rural areas.

  • Fee regulation for 50% seats in private medical institutions and deemed universities:

The maximum limit of 40% seats for which fee would be regulated in private medical institutions and deemed universities has been increased to 50% seats. Further, it has been clarified that the fee would also include all other charges taken by the colleges.

  • The number of nominees from States and UTs in NMC increased from 3 to 6:

Responding to the demands from States to increase their representation in the NMC, the nominees of States and UTs in the NMC have been increased from 3 to 6. The NMC will comprise of 25 members of which at least 21 will be doctors.

  • Monetary penalty for a medical college non-compliant with the norms replaced with provision for different penalty options

Another major concern gathered during a discussion with stakeholders was the wide range of monetary penalty, ranging from one half to ten times the annual fee recovered from a batch, to be imposed in a graded manner on a medical college non-compliant with the norms. The clause has been replaced with a provision which provides different options for a warning, reasonable monetary penalty, reducing intake, stoppage of admission leading up to the withdrawal of recognition.

  • Stringent punishment for unqualified medical practitioners or quacks:

The government is concerned about the quality and safety of healthcare being made available to the citizens and the need to act strictly against unqualified practitioners or quacks. The punishment for any unauthorized practice of medicine has been made severe by including a provision for an imprisonment of up to one year along with a fine extending up to Rs. 5 lakhs.

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HEALTHCARE

Health Minister Gives Kayakalp Awards for Health Facilities

The award is given by the Ministry to those best performing public health facilities which demonstrate a high level of cleanliness, hygiene and infection control.

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NEW DELHI: Health and Family Welfare Minister JP Nadda gave away the Kayakalp awards in New Delhi on April 19.

The award is given by the Ministry to those best performing public health facilities which demonstrate a high level of cleanliness, hygiene and infection control.

On the basis of numbers of patients and bed occupancy, the awards have been listed in two categories.

In the first category, AIIMS, New Delhi, received the first prize worth Rs. 2.50 crore, while PGI Chandigarh won the second prize worth Rs. 1.50 crore.

In the second category, North Eastern Indira Gandhi Regional Institute of Health and Medical Science, Shillong was adjudged as the winner with a prize money worth Rs. 1.50 crore.

The second prize went to AIIMS, Bhubaneswar, with a prize money worth 1 crore.

Speaking on the occasion, Nadda said, the Kayakalp initiative will surely prompt other hospitals to excel in achieving the Prime Minister’s goal of Swachh Bharat.

He said, health was not taken seriously earlier, but now it has taken centre stage in the government’s agenda.

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DARPAN-PLI, App for Postal Life Insurance Launched

The hand-held devices will ensure improvement in the quality of Postal services being offered in remote rural areas. 

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NEW DELHI: Minister of State for Communication Manoj Sinha launched DARPAN-Postal Life Insurance App on April 17 in New Delhi.

The DARPAN-PLI App will help in collection of premium for postal life insurance and rural postal life insurance policies at branch post offices anywhere in India, with online updation of the policies.

Speaking on the occasion, Sinha said, these initiative will help Department of Posts in providing better after-sales service to customers, particularly those living in rural areas of the country.

He said, with a view to achieve total digitisation of postal operations in the country, the department has launched Digital Advancement of Rural Post office for a new India (DARPAN) Project, which aims at connecting all one lakh 29 thousand Rural Branch Post Offices.

The Hand-held devices installed under DARPAN Project will ensure improvement in the quality of Postal services being offered in remote rural areas.

Customers in these areas can now avail the facility of online Core Banking, booking of Registered and Speed Post articles, booking of Money Orders, deposit of Postal Life Insurance and Rural Postal Life Insurance premium through these hand-held devices.

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HEALTHCARE

Almost 90% in Delhi are Vitamin-D Deficient

The bigger concern is that the population at large is not even aware of Vitamin D deficiency and its consequences.

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NEW DELHI: Around 88% of the Delhi-NCR population surveyed suffered from Vitamin D deficiency which causes chronic muscle pain, spasms, low energy levels, depression etc, according to a recent report.

However, the bigger concern is that the population at large is not even aware of Vitamin D deficiency and its consequences.

A data analysis of people between the age group of 21 and 65 years from October 2017 to March 2018 showed insufficient Vitamin D presence.

The age group of 21-35 years showed maximum insufficiency, according to the survey conducted by Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (ASSOCHAM).

The report said that eight out of ten people suffered from the deficiency.

Around 55% of survey respondents were under the age bracket of 20-29 years, followed by 30-39 years (26%), 40-49 years (16%), 50-60 years (approximately 2%) and 60-80 years (1% approximately).

Vitamin D deficiency can lead to bone mineralization, leading to bone softening diseases as rickets in children and osteomalacia and osteoporosis in adults. The deficiency can be easily corrected by Vitamin D supplementation or some lifestyle changes, said Dr H K Chopra, co-chairman of ASSOCHAM Healthcare Council.

Dr Chopra further said insufficiency or non-exposure to sunlight, staying in air-conditioned rooms for long hours during the day could be the prime reason behind the deficiency.

Low vitamin D levels are widely known to harm bones, leading them to become thin, brittle, soft or misshapen.

It is also to be noted that Vitamin D is equally important for heart, brain, immune function and much more.

Foods high in Vitamin D are fish, beef liver, egg yolks.

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