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Tamil Nadu chief minister MK Stalin

MK Stalin: NMC’s new medical college notification legally unsound, requires suspension

October 4, 2023

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M K Stalin has called for the suspension of a recent notification by the National Medical Commission (NMC) that places restrictions on the establishment of new medical colleges. Stalin believes that this notification creates a regressive situation and should be kept on hold. He has requested Prime Minister Narendra Modi to instruct the Union Health Ministry to suspend the notification and initiate a consultative process to address the issue.

The NMC’s notification stipulates that starting from the academic year 2023-2024, new medical colleges will only receive permission for annual intake capacities of 50/100/150 seats. This decision is based on the ratio of 100 MBBS seats for every 10 lakh population in a state or union territory. Stalin sees this as an infringement on the rights of state governments and a penalty for those that have invested significantly in public health infrastructure over the years.

Stalin argues that states like Tamil Nadu, which have higher doctor-population ratios, have achieved this primarily through investments made by state governments and the private sector, not the Union Government. He emphasizes that the restriction on new institutions will eliminate the possibility of Tamil Nadu receiving new central investments in the health sector.

Furthermore, Stalin points out that the criteria proposed for this restriction, the higher doctor-population ratio at the state level compared to norms, is inappropriate. Even in states with adequate doctor availability at the state level, there are districts where doctor shortages persist. Starting new medical colleges in underserved areas is the only effective solution to address this issue.

Stalin also notes that a recent Supreme Court judgment held that executive instructions cannot impose reasonable restrictions on the fundamental right to establish educational institutions under Article 19(1)(g) of the Indian Constitution. Therefore, he believes that the NMC notification may also be legally untenable.

In light of these concerns, Stalin calls for a suspension of the NMC notification and urges a consultative process between the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare and state governments to address the matter.

Source: PTI

Also read: Medical colleges face ₹1 Crore fine as per new NMC rule violations

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