Topic: Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.
Allied and Healthcare Professions Bill, 2018
What to study?
For Prelims and Mains: Key features of the Bill and Significance of Allied and Healthcare Professionals (A&HPs) and the challenges they face.
Context: The Union Cabinet has approved the Allied and Healthcare Professions Bill, 2018 for regulation and standardisation of education and services by allied and healthcare professionals.
Highlights of the Bill:
- It provides for the Establishment of a Central and corresponding State Allied and HealthcareCouncils; 15 major professional categories including 53 professions in Allied and Healthcare streams.
- The Bill provides for Structure, Constitution, Composition and Functions of the Central Council and State Councils, g. Framing policies andstandards, Regulation of professional conduct, Creation and maintenanceof live Registers, provisions for common entry and exit examinations, etc.
- The Central Council will comprise 47 members, of which 14 members shall be ex-officio representing diverse and related roles and functions andremaining 33 shall be non-ex-officio members who mainly represent the 15professional categories.
- The State Councils are also envisioned to mirror the Central Council,comprising 7 ex-officio and 21 non-ex officio members and Chairperson tobe elected from amongst the non-ex officio members.
- Professional Advisory Bodies under Central and State Councils will examine issues independently and provide recommendations relating to specific recognised categories.
- The Bill will also have an overriding effect on any other existing law for any of the covered professions.
- The State Council will undertake recognition of allied and healthcare institutions.
- Offences and Penalties clause have been included in the Bill to check malpractices.
- The Bill also empowers the Central and State Governments to make rules.
- Central Govt. also has the power to issue directions to the Council, to make regulations and to add or amend the schedule.
Major Impact, including employment generation potential:
- Bring all existing allied and healthcare professionals on board during thefirst few of years from the date of establishment of the Council.
- Opportunity to create qualified, highly skilled and competent jobs inhealthcare by enabling professionalism of the allied and healthcare workforce.
- High quality, multi-disciplinary care in line with the vision of AyushmanBharat, moving away from a ‘doctor led’ model to a ‘care accessible and team based’ model.
- Opportunity to cater to the global demand (shortage) of healthcareworkforce which is projected to be about 15 million by the year 2030, asper the WHO Global Workforce, 2030 report.
Number of beneficiaries:
It is estimated that the Allied and Healthcare Professions Bill, 2018 will directly benefit around 8-9 Lakh existing Allied and Healthcare related professionals in the country and several other graduating professionals joining workforce annually and contributing to the health system. However, since this Bill is directed to strengthen the healthcare delivery system at large, it may be said that the entire population of the country and the health sector as a whole will be benefited by this Bill.
Need for this legislation:
Allied and Healthcare Professionals (A&HPs) constitute an important element of the health human resource network, and the skilled and efficient Allied and Healthcare Professionals (A&HPs) can reduce the cost of care and dramatically improve the accessibility to quality driven healthcare services.
Though such professionals have existed in the Indian healthcare system for many decades, a considerable gap in the allied and healthcare space is because of a lack of a comprehensive regulatory framework and absence of standards for education and training of A&HPs. The Bill thus seeks to establish a robust regulatory framework which will play the role of a standard-setter and regulator for Allied and Healthcare professions.