The National Commission for Homoeopathy Bill, 2019

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The National Commission for Homoeopathy Bill, 2019

On January 7 2019, The National Commission for Homoeopathy Bill, 2019 was introduced by the Ministry of State for AYUSH in upper house. The bill aims to annul the Homeopathy Central Council Act, 1973 and provide for a medical education system which ensures:
  • taking up the latest medical research by homoeopathic medical experts,
  • availability of requisite and high quality homoeopathic medical experts,
  • an effective grievance redressal instruments.
  • regular assessment of medical institutions,

Salient features of the Bill include:

Constitution of the National Commission for Homoeopathy (NCH): The Bill establishes the National Commission for Homoeopathy (NCH). The NCH will include total 20 members, appointed by the union government. A search Committee will suggest names to the central government for the post of Chairperson, presidents of the three autonomous boards and part-time members set-up under the NCH. These posts will have a maximum tenure of four years. The Search Committee will include six members like the three experts and Cabinet Secretary nominated by the union government.
Members of the National Commission for Homoeopathy (NCH) will include:
  • the Chairperson
  • Joint Secretary or Advisor in-charge of Homoeopathy, Ministry of AYUSH, and
  • the President of the Homoeopathy Education Board,
  • the Director General of National Institute of Homoeopathy,
  • the President of the Rating Board and Medical Assessment for Homoeopathy,
  • four part-time members to be nominated by the registered homoeopathic medical experts from amongst themselves from the prescribed regional constituencies under the Bill.
Within 3 years of the passage of the Bill, state government will set up the State Medical Councils (SMCs) for Homoeopathy at the state level
Functions of the National Commission for Homoeopathy (NCH) :
  • ensuring collaboration among the autonomous boards set up under the Bill.
  • assessing the needs of healthcare related infrastructure and human resources,
  • creating policies for regulating homoeopathic medical professionals and medical institutions
  • ensuring conformity by the State Medical Councils of Homoeopathy of the regulations mentioned under the Bill.
Autonomous boards The Bill set up specific autonomous boards under the monitoring of the National Commission for Homoeopathy (NCH). These boards are:
  • the Homoeopathy Education Board:
    It will be answerable for formulating curriculum, standards, granting recognition to medical qualifications at the undergraduate and post graduate levels respectively and guidelines for setting up of medical institutions,
  • the Rating Board and Medical Assessment for Homoeopathy:
    It decides the assessment of medical institutions and process of rating and has the power to inflict monetary penalties on institutions that fail to keep minimum standards. It will also grant approval for setting up a new medical institution
  • Medical Registration and Board of Ethics for Homoeopathy:
    It will maintain a National Register of all licensed homeopathic medical specialists or practitioners, and regulate their professional nature. Only those medical professionals included in the Register will be permitted to practice homeopathic medicine.
Advisory Council for Homoeopathy: As per the bill, the union government will create an Advisory Council for Homoeopathy. The Council will be the main platform through which the states or union territories can reveal their concerns and views before the National Commission for Homeopathy (NCH). The Council will further suggest the NCH on steps to determine and maintain minimum standards of medical education.
Entrance examinations: There will be a standardized National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test (NEET) for admission to under-graduate homeopathy education in all medical institutions regulated by the Bill. The National Commission for Homeopathy (NCH) will describe the manner of supervising common counseling for admission in all such medical institutions. The Bill recommends a common final year National Exit Test (NET) for the students graduating from medical institutions to take the license for the practice. Moreover, there will be a regular Post-Graduate National Entrance Test which will serve as the basis for admission into post-graduate courses at medical institutions.
The Bill also recommends a National Teachers’ Eligibility Test for postgraduates of homoeopathy who wish to adopt teaching homoeopathy as a career/profession.
Petition on matters related to ethical and professional misconduct State Medical Councils (SMCs) will receive complaints regarding ethical or professional misconduct against a registered homeopathic medical practitioner. If the medical practitioner is distressed by a decision of the State Medical Council (SMC), he can appeal to the Board of Ethics and Medical Registration for Homoeopathy. The Board of Ethics and Medical Registration and the State Medical Councils for Homoeopathy have the authority to take disciplinary action against the medical practitioner including imposing a monetary penalty. If the medical practitioner is distressed by the decision of the Board, he can appeal the National Commission for Homeopathy (NCH) against the decision. Appeal of the decision of the National Commission for Homeopathy (NCH) lies with the union government.