India’s Budget 2021 has recently stirred up a conversation in the healthcare sector. Resting primarily on six pillars of developmental issues, the Budget 2021 aims to focus on the following-
- Healthcare and wellbeing
- Physical as well as financial capital and development of infrastructure
- Holistic, inclusive developmental reforms for an aspirational India
- Minimum government but maximum governance
- Focus on innovative processes and R&D
- Reinvigorating the country’s human capital
Finance Minister of India, Nirmala Sitharaman has announced that the National Commission for Allied Healthcare Professionals Bill will shortly be passed in the parliament with the aim to ensure transparency and efficiency in the process of regulation of 56 Allied Healthcare professionals. The National Commission for Allied Healthcare Professionals Bill was introduced and proposed by the Minister of Health and Family Welfare, Dr. Harsh Vardhan on September 15, 2020. The National Commission for Allied Healthcare Professionals Bill will focus on a few key pointers-
- Framing policies as well as standards for timely regulation of education and practices
- Creating a system of easily accessible uniform entrance examinations
- Offering a basic standard of education and courses, training and examination as well as staff qualifications
- Introduction and supervision of a fresh online Central Register for all duly registered professionals
Who are the Allied Healthcare professionals defined under this Bill? Essentially, an Allied Healthcare Professional refers to an associate or a technologist who is specifically trained to overlook and head the treatment of any injury, disease or illness. Allied Healthcare professionals must have obtained a degree under the proposed Bill. The proposed duration of this degree is a period of three to six years. The Commission will consist of a body of eminent officials- the Chairperson, Vice-Chairperson, a representative from the Directorate General of Health Services, three separate Deputy Directors who will be appointed on a rolling basis from AIIMS and/or AIIPMR.
Under the National Commission for Allied Healthcare Professionals Bill, the prior permission of the State Council must be acquired in order to establish new institutions or courses as well as admissions of a batch of fresh students to pre-existing institutions. The Bill further confirms that a person who is not enrolled in the State Register or National Register would not be allowed to continue their practice as a qualified healthcare professional. If anyone contravenes this provision, a fine of Rs.50, 000/- will be imposed on them.
The Budget 2021 would be shortly made available to the Parliament and the public online. This year, for the first time, the budget was announced in a paperless format. The prioritization of Healthcare and Wellbeing on the Budget 2021 and its six pillars have been lauded by healthcare professionals.