NEW DELHI: After suggesting scrapping of Medical Council of India, the regulator for modern medicine, and replacing it with National Medical Commission, the government is planning to revamp the regulators for Indian systems of medicine and homeopathy to ensure better quality of doctors.
After much brainstorming, a high-level panel headed by Niti Aayog vice-chairman Arvind Panagariya has finalised two draft bills which propose to replace the two regulators governing education in Indian systems of medicine (including Ayurveda) and homoeopathy and other reform measures such as national entrance and exit tests to ensure quality of doctors and expand the reach of these streams. The draft legislations suggested replacing the Central Council of Indian Medicine (CCIM) and the Central Council of Homoeopathy (CCH), statutory bodies under the health ministry, with the National Commission for Indian Systems of Medicine (NCISM) and the National Commission for Homeopathy (NCH).
The panel also recommended that “for profit” entities —or companies — be allowed to set up colleges to meet the need for more AYUSH providers in healthcare. Worried that a fee cap might be a deterrent for entry of private players in a sector where capacity expansion can brook no delay, the panel was against giving regulators the power of fee regulation as it said a merit-based admission system with reservation for deprived sections would address concerns about high cost of medical education for meritorious but poor and disadvantaged students.
“Number of colleges for Indian systems of medicine and Homeopathy has increased phenomenally to 404. The existing regulators failed to check mushrooming of substandard institutions causing erosion in quality of education,” said an official. The plan is to bring in competent and qualified persons based on merit to regulate AYUSH medical education in the NCISM and the NCH. The panel was against elected regulators and felt they should be selected by an independent and transparent selection process by a broad-based search committee.