New Delhi: Biju Janata Dal (BJD) MP from Kandhamal Dr. Achyuta Samanta supported the National Medical Commission Bill – 2019, which was introduced in Lok Sabha on July 22, 2019, by Dr. Harsh Vardhan, Union, Minister of Health and Family Welfare.
The Bill seeks to repeal the Indian Medical Council Act, 1956 and reform the medical education system.
This is the right time to bring in the National Medical Commission as the country needs adequate and high-quality medical professionals, Dr. Samanta said, participating in the discussion. “We need to encourage and adopt the latest medical research. Earlier many committees including Yashpal Committee, National Commission Report, Parliamentary Standing Committee, Expert Committee and NITI Aayog had also suggested reform in the medical education system. As health is one of the important social indicators, we should give much importance to the medical education system”, he stated.
Continuing the discussion, he said that after the introduction of NEET in India, one examination is being conducted across India to pursue medical education. This year, about 18 lakh students applied for NEET, but only 5% to 6% managed to qualify for the medical course. He also suggested some changes in the bill. After 6 years of medical study, students have to go through another entrance test, NEXT (National Exit Test), to get a chance to serve as a doctor, he pointed out, elaborating that this creates frustration and a suicidal tendency among students and depression among parents. This is eroding students’ interest in medical education, while the country needs more doctors. It is a matter of concern and the Government should think more about this, Dr. Samanta stated.
On fee structure, Dr. Achyuta Samanta said, State Governments are spending Rs. 30 lakh to produce a single doctor in one year at the state level. As per the Union Health Minister’s statement to media, the Government of India is spending Rs. 2 crores to produce a single doctor at the national level. Private institutes are also doing their best in medical education in India. So fee structure of state-level medical colleges should be equal with the private medical colleges, he suggested.
In Odisha, the health sector has been doing very well since last 20 years. Earlier, people of Odisha used to go to other states for treatment, but now all health facilities are available in Odisha, he informed. Now there are seven medical colleges and 6 more are in the pipeline. Three private medical colleges are also there in Odisha. He thanked Govt. of India for introducing Ayushman Bharat Yojana for treatment of poor people. In Odisha, the state government also has introduced Biju Swathya Kalyan Yojana under the able leadership of Shri Naveen Patnaik to serve the poor people, he added.