Harsh Vardhan writes to Rajya Sabha chairman for early consideration of allied and healthcare professions bill

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Published: June 16, 2019 3:37:48 PM

"Health Minister Harsh Vardhan has written to Rajya Sabha Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu to expedite the reconstitution of the parliamentary standing committee on health and family welfare for early consideration of the Allied and Healthcare Professions Bill," official sources said.

Harsh Vardhan, M Venkaiah Naidu, Rajya Sabha chairman, healthcare professions bill, J P Nadda, Health MinisterUnion minister Harsh Vardhan. (AP photo)

Union minister Harsh Vardhan has written to Rajya Sabha Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu to expedite the reconstitution of a parliamentary panel for early consideration of a bill aimed at regulating and standardising the education and services provided by allied and healthcare professionals. The Allied and Healthcare Professions Bill, 2018, was introduced in the Upper House on December 31, 2018, by former health minister J P Nadda. It was then referred to the parliamentary standing committee on health and family welfare for its recommendation.

“Health Minister Harsh Vardhan has written to Rajya Sabha Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu to expedite the reconstitution of the parliamentary standing committee on health and family welfare for early consideration of the Allied and Healthcare Professions Bill,” official sources said.

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The bill provides for setting up of an Allied and Healthcare Council of India and corresponding state allied and healthcare councils, which will play the role of a standard-setter and facilitator for such professions. As per the bill, there will be 15 major professional categories, including 53 professions in allied and healthcare streams. The offences and penalties clauses have been included in the bill to check malpractice.

The bill also provides for structure, constitution, composition and functions of the central council and state councils like framing policies and standards, regulation of professional conduct, creation and maintenance of live registers, provisions for common entry and exit examinations among others.

The central council will comprise 47 members, of whom 14 members shall be ex-officio representing diverse and related roles and functions, and remaining 33 shall be non-ex-officio members who mainly represent the 15 professional categories, an official statement had said. The state councils are envisioned to mirror the central council, comprising seven ex-officio and 21 non-ex-officio members, and a chairperson to be elected from among the non-ex-officio members.

The state council will undertake recognition of allied and healthcare institutions. Professional advisory bodies under the central and state councils will examine issues independently and provide recommendations relating to specific recognised categories. Besides, the bill will also have an overriding effect on any other existing law for any of the covered professions. The bill also empowers the central and state governments to make rules in this regard.

Further, an interim council will be constituted within six months of the passing of the Act holding charge for a period of two years until the establishment of the central council. It is estimated that the proposed legislation will directly benefit around 8-9 lakh existing allied and healthcare professionals in the country and several other graduating professionals joining the workforce annually.

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