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National Commission For Homeopathy Bill, 2019

The word 'Homeopathy' is derived from two Greek words, Homois meaning similar and Pathos meaning suffering. It was introduced in India in the 18th century. It takes a holistic approach towards the sick individual through the promotion of inner balance at mental, emotional, spiritual and physical levels.

With the passage of two important bills of the Ministry of AYUSH by the Parliament, the country is all set to bring revolutionary reforms in the medical education of Indian System of Medicine and Homoeopathy.

As seen on September 14th, 2020 the Lok Sabha passed the National Commission for Homeopathy Bill, 2019, while it was already passed by the Rajya Sabha on 19th March, 2020. The draft bill seeked to set up the National Commission for Homeopathy and replace the Central Council of Homeopathy by amending the Homeopathy Central Council (HCC) Act, 1973.

Homeopathy Central Council Act (1973)

The Homeopathy Central Council Act (1973) was enacted for constitution of a Central Council of Homeopathy for regulation of education and practice of homeopathy, for maintenance of Central Register of Homeopathy and for matters conducted therewith.

This act has been modeled on the pattern of the Indian Medical Council act, 1956. The broad functions, constitution, regulation making powers are identical to those of the Medical Council of India.

The act provides a base for the growth of medical education and practice in homeopathy but there were some problems in the functioning of the council:

  1. It had resulted in harmful effects on medical education and on the quality of Homeopathy healthcare services.

National Commission for Homeopathy Bill (2019)

Key Features of the bill:
  1. The bill seeks to repeal the Homeopathy Central Council Act, 1973 and aims to provide the availability of adequate and high quality homeopathic medical professionals.
  2. The bill sets up the National Commission For Homeopathy , which will consist of 20 members (Chairperson: The president of homeopathy education board , the director general of National Institute of Homeopathy, President of medical assessment and rating board for homeopathy in addition to other members) appointed by the Central Government.
  3. The National Commission for Homeopathy will perform the following:
    1. Frame policies for regulating medical institutions and homeopathic medical professionals.
    2. Assess the requirements of healthcare related human resources and infrastructure.
    3. Ensure compliance by the State Medical Councils of Homeopathy of the regulations made under the bill.
    4. Ensure coordination among the various boards set up under the bill.

The various autonomous boards are as follows:

  1. Homeopathy Education Board:

    It will be responsible for formulating standards, curriculum and guidelines for setting up of medical institutions and granting recognition to medical qualifications at the undergraduate and post graduate levels respectively.
  2. Medical Assesment And Rating Board:

    It determines the process of rating and assessment of medical institutions and has the power to levy monetary penalties on institutions which fail to maintain the minimum standards. It will also grant permission for establishing a new medical institution.
  3. Board Of Ethics And Medical Registration:

    It will maintain a National Register of all licensed homeopathic medical practitioners and regulate their professional conduct. Only those medical practitioners included in the register will be allowed to practice homeopathic medicine.

Some Other Points To Be Noted:

  1. Advisory Council For Homeopathy:

    The Council will be the primary platform through which the states/union territories can put forth their views and concerns before the NCH.
  2. Entrance Examinations:

    There will be a uniform National eligibility cum entrance test and an exit test for under graduate homeopathy education in all medical institutions regulated under the bill. The bill also proposes a National teacher's eligibility test for post graduates of homeopathy who wish to take homeopathy as a teaching profession.
  3. Appeal On Matters Related To Professional And Ethical Misconduct:

    State Medical Councils will receive complaints relating to professional or ethical misconduct against a registered homoeopathic medical practitioner. If the medical practitioner is aggrieved of a decision of the State Medical Council, he may appeal to the Board of Ethics and Medical Registration for Homoeopathy.

    The State Medical Councils and the Board of Ethics and Medical Registration for Homoeopathy have the power to take disciplinary action against the medical practitioner including imposing a monetary penalty. If the medical practitioner is aggrieved of the decision of the Board, he can approach the NCH to appeal against the decision. The appeal of the decision of the NCH lies with the central government.

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