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Technical glitches hit registration of paramedical professionals on central portal

Laxmi Yadav, Mumbai
Thursday, June 14, 2018, 08:00 Hrs  [IST]

Low awareness and difficulty in registration of qualifications on Allied Health Professionals Database Portal have marred the Union health ministry's initiative to track the number of professionals and streams of allied and healthcare professions in the country. In the absence of registration on the portal, lakhs of paramedical professionals are facing risk of unemployment.

It has been more than five months since the health ministry has launched the portal, but only 4,000 paramedical professionals have got registered on the portal so far. Of them, 3,000 professionals registered on the portal during the testing phase.

Talking about the issues faced by allied health professionals while registering on the portal, Dr Tushar Desai, a committee member of Association of the Hospital and Practising Biochemists and Medical (AHPBM) said “The data mentioned in the portal lacks standard. There is no column for practicing paramedical professionals to register on the portal. It does not accept certain qualifications such as - B.Sc + Diploma in Medical Laboratory Technology (DMLT). There are 1.75 lakh B.Sc + DMLT practitioners in Maharashtra. They are facing problems while registering on the portal.”

Sanghavi Samuel, a PhD in molecular biology and laboratory technology, said: “The government has not publicised it, so a significant number of allied health professionals lack awareness about it. The portal is restricted in terms of qualification options thus hampering registration.”

“We have taken up the issue with union health minister and Maharashtra health minister but nothing has been done in this regard,” said MZ Baig, secretary of the AHPBM.

Sanjay Salunkhe, laboratory in-charge of Maharashtra government run GT Hospital, said: “There is no uniformity in qualification required by varied state governments and the centre to recruit paramedical staff. While Maharashtra and Southern state governments recruit laboratory technicians on the basis of B.Sc, the centre recruits candidates having class X. This is a major issue hampering the registration process.”

Due to lack of data on paramedical professionals in the country, the ministry could not provide these professionals exemption from complying with standards set by a statutory body for their education and practice as per the redrafted the Allied and Healthcare Council Bill.

The health ministry has redrafted the Allied and Healthcare Council Bill aiming to regulate over 59 types of allied and healthcare professionals and set standards for their education and practices.

As per the redrafted Bill, a central council will be established which will ensure registration, verification and licensing of these professionals. Currently these allied healthcare professionals are not regulated by any council and there is no system in place to accurately quantify and identify these professionals who are an integral part of the healthcare system. The council will also set minimum standards of education, curricula, salary structures and career pathways for these professionals.

The draft bill also proposes separate state councils to undertake the implementation of the standards set by the central council.

It is learnt that there are approximately 10 lakh allied and healthcare professionals in the country. The ministry could use data collected through the portal to expedite the envisaged processes viz. licensing of professionals, workforce policy planning, and bringing transparency in the system by maintaining standards of educational and clinical practice etc, said a statement from the ministry.

The portal is a provisional measure taken by the ministry to track and reach out to all the allied and health care professionals in the country till such a time that a statutory body is established.

According to World Health Organisation (WHO), allied & healthcare professionals include individuals involved with the delivery of health or related services, with expertise in therapeutic, diagnostic, curative, preventive and rehabilitative interventions. They work in interdisciplinary health teams including physicians, nurses and public health officials to promote, protect, treat and/or manage a person’s physical, mental, social, emotional and environmental health and holistic well-being.


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