The National Commission for Allied and Healthcare Professions Bill, 2020 was passed in Rajya Sabha on 16th March, 2021. It was earlier passed in Lok Sabha on 15th September, 2020. The Bill seeks to regulate and maintain the standards of education and services by allied and healthcare professionals.
The key features of the Bill are:
- Allied health and Healthcare professional: An “allied health professional” is defined as an associate, technician, or technologist trained to support the diagnosis and treatment of any illness, disease, injury, or impairment. 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.
- National Commission for Allied and Healthcare Professions: The Bill seeks to establish the National Commission for Allied and Healthcare Professions. The Commission shall consist of: (i)Chairperson, (ii)Vice-Chairperson, (iii) five members, ex-officio members of Commission (at the level of Joint Secretary) representing various Departments/Ministries of the central government, (iv) one representative from the Directorate General of Health Services, (v) three Deputy Directors or Medical Superintendents appointed from amongst medical institutions including the AIIMS, Delhi and AIIPMR, Mumbai, and (vi) 12 part-time members representing State Councils, among others.
- Functions of the Commission: The Commission will perform the following functions: (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, and (iv) providing for a uniform entrance and exit examination, among others.
- Term of office and conditions of service of Members: The Chairperson, Vice-Chairperson of the Commission and the Part-time Member nominated under shall hold office for a term not exceeding two years from the date on which they enter upon their office and shall be eligible for re-nomination for a maximum period of two terms.
- Professional Councils: The Commission will constitute a Professional Council for every recognised category of allied and healthcare professions. The Commission may delegate any of its functions to this Council.
- State Allied and Healthcare Councils: Within six months from the passage of the Bill, state governments shall constitute State Allied and Healthcare Councils. The constitution of members of State Councils have been enumerated under S. 22 of the Bill.
- Establishment of institutions: 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. If such permission is not sought, then any qualification granted to a student from such an institution will not be recognised under the Bill.
- Offences: No person shall be allowed to practice as a qualified allied and healthcare practitioner other than those enrolled in a State Register or the National Register. Rs. 50,000/- penalty to be charged in contravention of the provisions.
*Tanvi Singh, Editorial Assistant has put this story together.