Chief Minister Jayalalithaa on Thursday voiced “vehement opposition” to National Commission for Human Resources for Health (NCHRH) Bill 2011, arguing that it sought to usurp the powers of States in the area of health human resources by creating new structures that hit the very root of federalism.

In a letter to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, she stated that the Bill, which has been referred by the Rajya Sabha to the Standing Committee on Health and Family Welfare, effectively puts the leadership and decision-making process with regard to medical, dental and paramedical education in the hands of about 25 persons, all to be nominated by the Centre.

“This undermines the powers of the State governments, which are left with no role to play in policy issues related to health manpower planning, curriculum and course design as well as approval of new institutions offering courses in medicine and allied disciplines.”

The need-based planning for medical, dental and paramedical manpower should follow regional and local demands.

This would best be achieved only by giving adequate representation for the States in policy-making bodies. Status quo may be maintained with regard to the functioning of the existing National and State Councils, which, Ms. Jayalalithaa said, may be strengthened and improved with increased participation of the State governments at the level of the National Council.