Mains Paper 2: Governance | Issues relating to development & management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health, Education, Human Resources
From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:
Prelims level: Allied and Healthcare Professions Bill, 2018
Mains level: Importance of Healthcare Professionals in India
- The Union Cabinet has approved the Allied and Healthcare Professions Bill, 2018 for regulation and standardization of education and services by allied and healthcare professionals.
- Our health system is highly focused on efforts towards strengthening limited categories of professionals such as doctors, nurses and frontline workers (like ASHAs, Auxiliary Nurse Midwife or ANMs).
- In the current state of healthcare system, there exist many allied and healthcare professionals, who remain unidentified, unregulated and underutilized.
- However, numerous others have been identified over the years, whose potential can be utilised to improve and increase the access to quality driven services in the rural and hard to reach areas.
- Allied and Healthcare Professionals (A&HPs) can reduce the cost of care and dramatically improve the accessibility to quality driven healthcare services.
Why such a Bill?
- Most of Indian institutions offering AHPs courses lack standardization compared to global standards.
- Majority of the countries worldwide, have a statutory licensing or regulatory body that is authorised to license and certify the qualifications and competence of such professionals.
- Though such professionals have existed in India healthcare system for many decades there is a lack of acomprehensive regulatory framework and absence of standards for education and training of AHPs.
- 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.
Allied and Healthcare Professions Bill, 2018
- The Bill provides for setting up of an Allied and Healthcare Council of India and corresponding State Allied and Healthcare Councils.
- These councils will play the role of a standard-setter and facilitator for professions of Allied and Healthcare.
Provisions of the Bill
- The Bill provides for Structure, Constitution, Composition and Functions of the Central Council and State Councils, e.g. Framing policies and standards, Regulation of professional conduct, Creation and maintenance of live Registers etc.
- 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, tomake regulations and to add or amend the schedule.
Composition of the Councils
- The Central Council will comprise 47 members, of which 14 members shall be ex-officio representing diverse and related roles and functions and remaining 33 shall be non-ex-officio members who mainly represent the 15 professional categories.
- The State Councils are also envisioned to mirror the Central Council, comprising 7 ex-officio and 21 non-ex officio members and Chairperson to be 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 aims:
- To bring all existing allied and healthcare professionals on board during the first few of years from the date of establishment of the Council.
- To provide opportunity to create qualified, highly skilled and competent jobs in healthcare by enabling professionalism of the allied and healthcare workforce.
- To bring in high quality, multi-disciplinary care in line with the vision of Ayushman Bharat, moving away from a ‘doctor led’ model to a ‘care accessible and team based’ model.
- Opportunity to cater to the global demand (shortage) of healthcare workforce which is projected to be about 15 million by the year 2030, asper the WHO Global Workforce, 2030 report.