Parliament has passed the National Commission for Allied and Healthcare Professions Bill, 2021. The Bill seeks to set up a National Commission for Allied and Healthcare Professions to regulate and standardize the education and practice of allied and healthcare professionals. The functions of the proposed National Commission include framing of standards for education and practice, creating and maintaining an online Central Register of all registered professionals, providing basic standards of education, and providing for a uniform entrance and exit examination. Under the legislation, only those enrolled in a State Register or the National Register as a qualified allied and healthcare practitioner would be allowed to practice as a allied and healthcare practitioner.
Replying to the debate in Lok Sabha today, Union Health Minister, Dr. Harsh Vardhan said that the legislation will increase employment opportunities for the allied and healthcare professionals and provide dignity to their valuable works. He said, there is an immense demand for the qualified healthcare professionals and the legislation will provide necessary impetus in providing affordable healthcare to the people. He thanked members for supporting the Bill.
Participating in the discussion, Balubau Dhanorkar of Congress stressed on the need to increase the allocation on health. He said that the provisions pertaining to penalty must be increased so that interest of the people can be safeguarded. Dr. Subhash Bhamre of BJP appreciated the legislation saying that the Bill is a path-breaking initiative which will transform the healthcare sector in the country. He said, the Bill will address the lack of regulatory body for various allied and healthcare professions. JD(U) MP, Dr. Alok Kumar Suman said that the legislation will help in achieving the target of providing good health and well being by adopting a patient centric approach. Dr. Shrikant Shinde of Shiv Sena said that this Bill will provide a regulatory framework to the allied and healthcare professionals. The Bill was passed in Rajya Sabha last week.
The Bill defines an ‘allied health professional’ as an associate, technician, or technologist trained to support the diagnosis and treatment of any illness, disease, injury, or impairment. Such a professional should have obtained a diploma or degree under this Bill. A ‘healthcare professional’ includes a scientist, therapist, or any other professional who studies, advises, researches, supervises, or provides preventive, curative, rehabilitative, therapeutic, or promotional health services. Such a professional should have obtained a degree under this Bill. Allied and healthcare professions that are mentioned in the Bill include professionals working in life sciences, trauma and burn care, surgical and anaesthesia related technology, physiotherapists, and nutrition science.