The union cabinet in Delhi approved the Allied and Healthcare Professions Bill, 2018, which is expected to regulate and standardise the education and services provided by healthcare professionals like physiotherapists, nutritionists and lab technologists.
“Though such professionals have existed in the Indian healthcare system for many decades, a considerable gap in the allied and healthcare space is because of a lack of a comprehensive regulatory framework and absence of standards for education and training of allied and healthcare professions,” stated the bill.
The bill covers 15 major professional categories comprising 53 professions and includes offences and penalties to check any malpractices. The proposed legislation will directly benefit around 9 lakh professionals in the country and several other graduating professionals in the space.
It will create qualified, highly skilled and competent jobs in healthcare that would cater to the global shortage of healthcare workforce. It also provides for structure, constitution, composition and functions of the Central Council and State Councils like framing policies and standards, regulation of professional conduct, creation and maintenance of live registers, provisions for common entry and exit examinations among others.
The central council will comprise 47 members, including 33 who mainly represent the 15 professional categories, according to the statement. The state councils, will undertake recognition of allied and healthcare institutions and will comprise of 28 members.