The National Commission for Allied and Healthcare Professions Bill, 2020 – UPSC GS2

  • National Commission for Allied and Healthcare Professions Bill, 2020 passed unanimously by the Lok Sabha.
  • The Bill would control and standardize allied and healthcare professional education and practice.
Allied health professionals and their role in the delivery of healthcare services:
  • Allied health professionals are individuals engaged in the delivery of health or related care. Their area of expertise includes therapeutic, diagnostic, curative, preventive, and rehabilitative interventions.
  • Role:
    • They are the first to recognize the problems of the patients and serve as safety nets.
    • Their awareness of patient care accountability adds tremendous value to the healthcare team in both the public and private sectors.
Key takeaways of the NCAHP Bill 2020:
  • The Bill defines an allied health professional as an associate, technician, or technologist. The professional, who is trained to support the diagnosis and treatment of any illness, disease, injury, or impairment.
  • The bill recognizes over 50 professions such as physiotherapists, optometrists, nutritionists, medical laboratory professionals, radiotherapy technology professionals.
  • The bill used the International System of Classification of Occupations (ISCO code) to classify allied professionals.
    • This allows for greater global mobility and better prospects for such professionals.
    • It will benefit up to 8-9 lakh current allied and healthcare professionals.
  • Establishment of a central statutory body as a National Commission for Allied and Healthcare Professions.
    • To frame policies and standards.
    • To govern professional conduct.
    • To recommend credentials.
    • To establish and maintain a central registry.
  • Bill has the provision for state councils to execute major functions through autonomous boards. The state councils are in charge of implementation, while the National Commission is in charge of policy formulation.
Why government’s recognition of allied healthcare professionals is a paradigm shift?
  • Stressful life due to modern lifestyle, rapid urbanization
  • Rising chronic non-communicable disease burden.
  • An increasing proportion of elderly people.
The above issues require a change in healthcare delivery methods. Therefore, trained, allied health professionals are needed to care for patients with mental illnesses, the elderly, those in need of palliative treatment. Also, it will enable professional services for lifestyle change related to physical activity and diets.
Way forward:
  • Allied healthcare professionals are an important part of the medical profession. Their contribution is equal to, if not greater than, that of doctors.
  • The law would increase job opportunities for allied and healthcare professionals and also provide dignity to their valuable works.

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