A parliamentary panel has recommended that a “compulsory minimum period” of working within the country be fixed for doctors, asserting that a large number of medics studying in government medical colleges on taxpayers’ money leave the country at the first given opportunity.

The department-related Parliamentary Standing Committee on Health and Family Welfare has also asked the health ministry to explore the possibility of “restructuring and revamping” the Dental Council of India, the Nursing Council of India and other such councils for their effective regulation as envisaged by National Medical Commission Bill, 2017.

Observing that there had been a loss of credibility of the Medical Council of India (MCI), the committee has recommended that all the members of the proposed National Medical Commission mandatorily declare their professional and commercial involvements.

The recommendations were made by the panel in its report on the National Medical Commission Bill 2017, tabled in Parliament last week.

“The Committee is also given to understand that a large number of doctors who study in government medical colleges at the cost of the taxpayers money leave the country at the first given opportunity.”

“The committee recommends that in all such cases a minimum compulsory period of working within the country be prescribed before such doctors can be allowed to serve outside the country,” the committee chaired by Prof Ram Gopal Yadav said.

It also recommended for consideration a compulsory one year rural posting for all doctors graduating out of medical schools subject to the condition that the requisite infrastructure facilities in terms of supporting staff, decent remuneration, necessary medical equipment and appropriate security are made available so that their training can be appropriately utilised for dealing with shortage of doctors in rural and remote areas.

The committee observed that medical health care system encompasses health professionals working in the area of para medical disciplines like physiotherapy, optometry and other allied fields where there is no standardization of curriculum or regulation of the quality of education and practice.

It said that the current bill presents a policy window for the government to overhaul the regulatory oversight of other streams of health professions as well.

“The Committee is of the view that the department should explore the possibility of restructuring and revamping the Dental Council of India, the Nursing Council of India and other such councils so that there is effective regulation of their education and practice similar to the reform process as envisaged by National Medical Commission Bill, 2017,” the panel said.

“The Committee, accordingly, recommends for formulation of regulatory, licensing or accreditation norms for all paramedical and allied health care professions like physiotherapy, optometry, etc. so as to regulate such professionals and their scope of practice in various clinical settings,” it added.

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