Parliament proceedings | Parliament passes National Commission for Allied, Healthcare Professions Bill

Health Minister Harsh Vardhan speaks in the Lok Sabha on March 24, 2021. Photo: LSTV via PTI  

The Lok Sabha on March 24 cleared the National Commission for Allied and Healthcare Professionals Bill, 2021, which seeks to set up a commission to regulate the allied healthcare sector, standardise training and qualifications across the country. The Rajya Sabha passed the Bill on March 16.

Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan said that the legislation, which got bipartisan support across party lines in the Lok Sabha, is aimed at fulfilling long-pending demands of the sector, and enhance employment opportunities for professionals.

“The paramedics and allied healthcare workers are critical part of the medical profession and their contribution is similar to doctors, if not more. The group of allied professionals is large and the bill is trying to regulate this field by providing dignity to their roles,” he said.

Dr. Vardhan recalled the role played by paramedics and allied healthcare workers lab technicians, radiographers, dieticians during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Bill will set up a regulatory structure for 50 categories of allied healthcare and try and shift the treatment of patients from being doctor centric to team centric. 

The Bill aims to establish a statutory body or commission that frames policies and standards, regulate professional conduct and qualifications for allied healthcare professionals, besides providing uniformity of service standards across institutions. The chairman and vice-chairman of the body will be selected for two years and they would be eligible for renomination for further two terms. State governments will be represented in the commission, 12 seats have been set aside for them, and State-level commissions are also to be set up under the Bill. 

The standards for regulation, training, eligibility and service have been coded by international yardsticks and according to International Labour Code (ILO) codes. The Bill had been pored over by the standing committee on health which had suggested 110 amendments of which 102 have been incorporated into the Bill, one of the reasons for bipartisan support for it. 

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Printable version | May 18, 2021 1:19:00 AM |

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