There might be yet another exam added to the series of medical exams existing to filter well learnt graduates and let them to practice medicine officially.
Shortly, for registering themselves as medical practioners, MBBS pass outs from government as well as private medical colleges will have to clear the National Exit Test (NEXT).
According to a senior health ministry official, based on the recommendation of Niti Aayog vice-chairman Arvind Panagariya for reforms in the medical education, the Ministry of Health has drafted a bill to address grievances over quality of education in medical colleges and of doctors.
The draft bill titled Indian Medical Council (Amendment) Bill, 2016 has been published by health ministry on its website. The bill is open for feedback from the public till January 6.
There is also a proposal in the bill for conducting common counselling for entry to Post-Graduate courses in all medical colleges.
"Many institutes which are deemed universities and private colleges, want to conduct their own counselling so that they can pick and choose which may result in capitation fees because the number of NEET pass outs is three times more than the number of seats," said another official.
"By introducing common counselling, our attempt is to streamline the system so that the seats are allotted strictly on merit-cum-choice basis from among the eligible candidates."
Excluding these factors, for doctors who have served at least three years in remote areas, the bill also has proposals for the state governments to stock around 50 per cent of seats in post-graduate courses in government colleges.
"The idea is to encourage more and more MBBS pass outs to go and practice in remote and rural areas," the official said.
After acquiring PG degrees, medical officers may be required to serve up to three years in remote and difficult areas by state governments and Union territories.