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Common Final MBBS Exam - National Exit Test NEXT gets Union Cabinet’s approval


Common Final MBBS Exam - National Exit Test (NEXT) graphic
The Union Cabinet has approved a common final MBBS exam across India to be called the National Exit Test (NEXT) and left it to states to decide whether practitioners from alternative health systems may prescribe modern medicines. The Cabinet has also approved an amendment to provide for one year imprisonment and a fine up to Rs 5 lakh for any unauthorised practice of medicine, a move that the health ministry said was intended to address concerns about the safety in healthcare and take strict action against quackery.
The cabinet in a meeting on Wednesday 28th March, chaired by PM Modi, approved these amendments in the National Medical Commission (NMC) bill that seeks to create a new regulatory body for medicine to replace the existing Medical Council of India (MCI).
The amendments follow recommendations by a parliamentary standing committee that had rejected the bill's proposal for a separate national licentiate exam for MBBS doctors to be able to practice medicine. The standing committee had called for the final year MBBS exam to serve as the licentiate exam.
The cabinet has also accepted the standing committee's recommendation that the government regulate fees of up to 50 percent of seats in private medical colleges.
The cabinet has approved an amendment that removes the provision of a 'bridge course' proposed in the original bill to allow practitioners of ayurveda and homeopathy, among other alternative forms of medicine, to prescribe modern medicines.
The amendments also include an increase in the number of state representatives in the NMC - the nominees of states and union territories in the commission have been increased from 3 to 6. The NMC will be made up of 25 members of whom at least 21 will be doctors, the government said.
(Source: The Telegraph, edited)

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