The Lok Sabha on Thursday passed the Indian Medical Council (Amendment) Bill that seeks to extend the tenure of the re-constituted apex body governing health education by another year.
The Bill was passed by a voice vote after a nearly four-hour debate that saw members from both the Opposition and Treasury benches demanding early restoration of democracy to the Medical Council of India (MCI).
The government had superseded the MCI, a statutory body, in May last year following allegations of large-scale corruption against its then President and other officials by issuing an Ordinance.The Ordinance was replaced by the Indian Medical Council (Amendment) Act, 2010.
The government had appointed a Board of Governors for a period of one year and the Bill approved today seeks to extend their term by another year.
Initiating the debate, Sanjay Jaiswal (BJP) wanted the government to give a timeline on restoring the MCI.
“The MCI is a statutory body. Why did the government supersede an elected body. If this was so, why similar actions were not taken in cases of SEBI, TRAI and IOA following the stocks, telecom and CWG scams,” he asked.
Congress member Jyoti Mirdha hoped that this would be the first and the last extension the government was seeking for the Board of Governors of the MCI.
She said the MCI was a democratic organisation and its supersession and appointment of Board of Governors was undemocratic.
The government plans to set up an overarching regulatory body which would subsume certain Councils like the MCI and the Dental Council of India in it.
The draft bill for setting up of the National Commission for Human Resources for Health has been prepared in consultation with various stakeholders.
Health Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad said that the bill will be introduced in Parliament in the next four to six months.
Those who participated in the debate included Shailendra Kumar (SP), Gorakhnath Pandey (BSP), Ratna De (AITC), Lalu Prasad (RJD), Kalikesh Narayan Singh Deo (BJD), Prabodh Panda (CPI), Kiritbhai Solanki (BJP) and Prabha Kishor (Cong).