NEW DELHI: The Bill to set up National Council for Human Resource in Health (NCHRH) -- the overarching regulatory body for the health sector, which will replace the existing Medical, Dental, Nursing and Pharma Councils of India -- will be introduced in Parliament soon.
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh gave assurance about this on Friday.
Addressing the 38th Convocation of All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) -- the country's premier research and referral hospital -- the PM said the government was reviewing the existing regulatory system for medical education.
"After extensive consultations, the ministry of health has prepared a draft bill for setting up a National Council for Human Resources in Health that will be introduced in Parliament soon. The Bill will seek to create an enabling environment that will address issues of quality, quantity and equitable distribution of medical education resources," Singh said.
Interestingly, the draft Bill came up for public scrutiny recently. Though some states had opposed NCHRH, the PM confirmed on Friday of introducing the Bill in Parliament soon.
Consequently, this signalled an end to the turf war between HRD and health ministries, which started when the former suggested bringing medical education under the ambit of its proposed National Commission for Higher Education and Research (NCHER). The health ministry has been in favour of NCHRH.
In June, a 12-member task force set up to form NCHRH -- under the chairmanship of the Union health secretary -- had painted a gloomy scenario about the nation's poor performance in the health sector.
For instance, the estimated density of health workers is 20% lesser that of WHO norm of 2.5 workers (doctors, nurses and midwifes) per 1,000 population.
The PM also backed the recent M S Valiathan Committee report on AIIMS.
"We should aim at
nothing less than making AIIMS as one of the 10 best medical universities in the world by 2020. This is not going to be easy. But it can be done," he said.
"As all of you are aware, the Valiathan Committee reflected on some of these issues and produced, I believe, a very good report. The government will consider the recommendations expeditiously and do what is in the best interest of the Institute," he added.
However, the suggested reforms has drawn flak of Progressive Medicos and Scientists Forum, which has accused the government of trying to commercialise and corporatise AIIMS, making it out of reach for common people.
Singh also said the government is trying to address the lacunae of inadequate public provisioning for critical health services.
The 11th Five Year Plan has envisaged an increase in public expenditure on health to at least 2% of GDP, he stated.