Recently, National Commission for Allied and Healthcare Professions Bill, 2020 was passed by the Lower House (Lok Sabha).

  • This Bill seeks to regulate and standardise the education and practice of allied and healthcare professionals.
  • The group of allied professionals is large and this Bill is trying to regulate this field by providing dignity to their roles.
  • Allied Health Professional
    • The National Commission for Allied and Healthcare Professions 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.
    • Such a professional should have obtained a diploma or degree.
      • The duration of the degree/diploma should be at least 2000 hours (over a period of 2 to 4 years).
  • Healthcare Professional
    • 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 obtained a degree.
      • The duration of the degree should be at least 3600 hours (over a period of 3 to 6 years).
  • Allied and Healthcare Professions
    • The National Commission for Allied and Healthcare Professions Bill specifies certain categories of allied and healthcare professions as recognised categories.
    • These are mentioned in the Schedule to the Bill and include life science professionals, trauma and burn care professionals, surgical and anaesthesia related technology professionals, physiotherapists, and nutrition science professionals.
      • The central govt may amend this Schedule after consultation with the National Commission for Allied and Healthcare Profession.
  • National Commission for Allied and Healthcare Professions: The Bill sets up the National Commission for Allied and Healthcare Professions.
    • Structure
      • It will consist of a Chairperson, Vice-Chairperson, five members representing various Departments/Ministries of the central government, one representative from the Directorate General of Health Services, three Deputy Directors or Medical Superintendents appointed on a rotational basis from amongst medical institutions and 12 part-time members representing State Councils, among others.
    • Functions: The Commission will perform the following functions with regard to Allied and Healthcare Professionals:
      • Creating and maintaining an online Central Register of all registered professionals.
      • Providing basic standards of education, courses, curriculum, staff qualifications, examination, training, maximum fee payable for various categories.
    • Professional Councils
      • The Commission will constitute a Professional Council for every recognised category of allied and healthcare professions.
      • The Professional Council will consist of a president and 4 to 24 members, representing each profession in the recognised category.
      • The Commission may delegate any of its functions to this Council.
  • State Councils
    • Within 6 months from the passage of the Bill, state governments will constitute State Allied and Healthcare Councils.
    • It will complement the functioning of the National Commission and maintain a State Register.
  • Permission for Establishment of Institutions
    • Prior permission of the State Council will be required to:
      • Establish a new institution.
      • 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 and Penalties
    • 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.
    • Any person who contravenes this provision will be punished with a fine of Rupees 50,000.

National Commission for Allied and Healthcare Professions Bill of 2020