The city is now home to an academy that offers a range of courses to equip hospitals with qualified technicians.

The academy, established under a public-private partnership in association with the National Skills Development Corporation (NSDC), will develop a band of trained healthcare workers during the next decade.

The NSDC comes under the union finance ministry and envisages equipping doctors and nurses too with special skills.

The sources of finance for the Rs. 40-crore project include a soft loan of Rs. 26 crore taken by Apollo MedSkills. The rest of the funds comes from Apollo MedSkills, an arm of Apollo Hospitals group (Rs. 9.3 crore) and NSDC (Rs. 3.5 crore). The training has two components — for doctors and nurses in the first and for technicians for various hospital-related technical works in the other.

Since the aim of the project is to provide gainful employment, for the technician courses around 1,200 candidates will be selected from lower- and middle-income group families each year.

“We are targeting Chennai Schools and government schools for this group of students. While for courses such as housekeeping, bedside assistance and home-care givers, drop outs will be selected, students from class XII with science background will be selected for training in various technician courses,” said K. Prabhakar, chief executive officer of Apollo MedSkills.

“For instance, nurses will have a one-day course in IV therapy whereas there will be three-day courses in haemodialysis. Doctors with MBBS degree could undergo training in diabetes, trauma care, sports medicine or health insurance,” Dr. Prabhakar said.

The training will be practical and include fieldwork. Courses for students from class XII include laboratory services, radiology and imaging services, emergency technicians, theatre technicians and dialysis technicians.

For doctors and nurses there will be contact classes in association with Medvarsity, another arm of Apollo Hospitals to offer the theory part of the courses.

So far, the academy at Anna Nagar has started programmes and trained 450 doctors, nurses, and 32 paramedics. On Tuesday, the company signed an agreement with Australia-based organisation Reach, for training in geriatric care. In the next few months, training centres will be opened in Patna, Shillong and Hyderabad.

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