The National Commission for Allied and Healthcare Professions Bill, 2020 has been introduced in Rajya Sabha.
- The bill seeks to regulate and standardize the education and practice of allied and healthcare professionals.
- The bill defines an allied health professional as an associate, technician, or technologist trained to support the diagnosis and treatment of any illness, disease, injury, or impairment.
- The diploma or degree should be at least of over a period of two to four years.
- A ‘healthcare professional’ includes a scientist, therapist, or any other professional who studies, advises, researches, supervises, or provides preventive, curative, rehabilitative, therapeutic, or promotional health services.
- Such a professional should have a degree of over a period of three to six years.
- The bill specifies certain categories of allied and healthcare professions as recognised categories which include life science professionals, trauma and burn care professionals, surgical and anaesthesia related technology professionals, physiotherapists, and nutrition science professionals.
- The bill sets up the National Commission for Allied and Healthcare Professions.
Functions of the Commission:
(i) framing policies and standards for regulating education and practice,
(ii) creating and maintaining an online Central Register of all registered professionals,
(iii) providing basic standards of education, courses, curriculum, staff qualifications, examination, training, maximum fee payable for various categories,
(iv) providing for a uniform entrance and exit examination.
- The Commission will constitute a Professional Council for every recognised category of allied and healthcare professions for which any function can be delegated.
- Within six months from the passage of the Bill, state governments will constitute State Allied and Healthcare Councils.
- The State Councils will maintain respective State Registers, inspect allied and healthcare institutions, and ensure uniform entry and exit examinations.
- Prior permission of the State Council will be required to: (i) establish a new institution, or (ii) open new courses, increase the admission capacity, or admit a new batch of students to existing institutions.
- No person is allowed to practice as a qualified allied and healthcare practitioner other than those enrolled in a State Register or the National Register and who contravenes this provision will be punished with a fine of Rs 50,000.