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NATIONAL COMMISSION FOR ALLIED & HEALTHCARE PROFESSIONALS BILL

Context:

The Lok Sabha cleared the National Commission for Allied and Healthcare Professionals Bill, 2021, after the Rajya Sabha had passed it earlier.

Relevance:

GS-II: Social Justice (Health related issues, Government Policies and Interventions)

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. Who are Allied and Healthcare Professionals?
  2. National Commission for Allied and Healthcare Professionals Bill, 2021
  3. The Statutory National Commission under the bill
  4. Who will be able to practice as an allied and healthcare professional?

Who are Allied and Healthcare Professionals?

  • The allied and healthcare professions include a wide range of workers for diagnosis, evaluation, and treatment of acute and chronic diseases. These professions also work to optimise patient outcomes and attend to the overall prevention, promotion, wellness, and management of diseases.
  • Doctors, nurses, frontline workers, security staff, CT scan and lab technicians, radiographers, dieticians, etc., who served during the Covid crisis as frontline warriors are allied and healthcare workers.

National Commission for Allied and Healthcare Professionals Bill, 2021

  • The National Commission for Allied and Healthcare Professionals Bill, 2021 is aimed at fulfilling long-pending demands of the sector, and enhance employment opportunities for professionals.
  • This bill is passed on the background of the highly commendable role played by paramedics and allied healthcare workers lab technicians, radiographers, dieticians during the COVID-19 pandemic – recognising the contribution of allied healthcare professional, giving them dignity and establishing the respect long due to them.
  • The Bill will set up a regulatory structure for 50 categories of allied healthcare and try and shift the treatment of patients from being doctor centric to team centric.
  • The standards for regulation, training, eligibility and service have been coded by international yardsticks and according to International Labour Code (ILO) codes.

The Statutory National Commission under the bill

  • The bill seeks to set up a commission to regulate the allied healthcare sector, standardize training and qualifications across the country.
  • The Bill aims to establish a statutory body or commission that frames policies and standards, regulate professional conduct and qualifications for allied healthcare professionals, besides providing uniformity of service standards across institutions.
  • The chairman and vice-chairman of the body will be selected for two years and they would be eligible for renomination for further two terms.
  • State governments will be represented in the commission, 12 seats have been set aside for them, and State-level commissions are also to be set up under the Bill.

Who will be able to practice as an allied and healthcare professional?

  • Under the legislation by the government, only those who are enrolled in a National Register or the State Register as a healthcare professional or a qualified practitioner will be allowed to practice as an allied and healthcare professional.
  • The Allied and Healthcare professions that have been mentioned under the latest bill include the professionals working in trauma and burn care, life sciences, physiotherapists, surgical and anaesthesia-related technology, and nutrition science.

-Source: The Hindu

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September 2022
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