Joint Forum of Medical Technologists of India (JFMTI) is an all India level registered organization of allied health professionals associations. JFMTI (formerly JFMLTS) was formed initially by Medical Laboratory Staff of various Delhi-based Government Hospitals/health institutions in May 2007, for redressal of several long pending policy issues for betterment of Medical Technology and Technologists.
Since its inception, JFMTI has been striving hard and demanding for the formation of National Statutory Council for Medical Technologists of various allied health streams, engaged in Central Government, State Governments, Autonomous health institutions, local bodies, PSUs and private health establishments in India. Presently, several important streams of health care that play an indispensable role in health care delivery system are left unregulated. Forum strongly believes that quality of diagnostic and health care services, quality of Allied Health education and training can neither be ensured, nor other relevant issues be addressed without a national perspective for Medical Technologists (eg. professional issues, like scope of practice, right of practice in profession, uniformity in educational qualification, uniformity in designations, pay scales and promotional avenues)
Due to broader perspective of Forum and holistic approach towards public in general, and patients and professionals in particular, various Associations/Unions/Institutions of Medical Technologists have come together and constituted “Joint Forum of Medical Technologists of India” as a National representative organization of Medical Technologists of various streams to share ideas on how we can improve the career prospects and professional standing of Medical Technologists and provide quality diagnostic & health care services throughout India.
Demand for formation of Central Council for Medical Technologists of various allied health streams, has been pending before Government of India (GOI) for the last more than 50 years. Though, on various occasions, it was accepted, in principle, by GOI, that such council is necessary for streamlining Allied Health Education and providing quality of health services but practically, this important issue has been ignored blatantly. Even after six decades of Independence, we still do not have any law to regulate several important streams of health sciences. Furthermore, several other professional issues also need Government’s attention for quality health services in Government and private health sector, throughout the country. Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, GOI, has organized several meetings, with representatives of the Forum on several demands raised, from time to time.
Within the short period, Joint Forum has succeeded in spreading its message among all streams of Medical Technologists, media, Government machinery and general public by its powerful vision, mission, objectives and activities. As a result, the large numbers of leading Associations/Unions/Institutions of Medical Technologists in a number of states have converged and joined hands with the Joint Forum. In addition to Medical Laboratory Technologists, Medical Radiology Technologists, Medical Radiation Therapy Technologists, and Operation Theatre Technologists and several other Allied Health streams of Medical Technologists/professionals are also supporting the cause of the Forum.
JFMTI represents more than 50 thousand medical technologists/Allied Health Professionals working in hospitals/ health institutions/ dispensaries of Central Government, State Governments, autonomous health institutions and private health establishments in India. Forum, strongly believes that Indian health services can only be improved by replacing the old, archaic medico-centric health system with the modern highly trained team-based healthcare delivery system. The process of teamwork is inherently interdisciplinary, requiring a division of labour among the medical, nursing and allied health professionals. Not only is this team approach important for safe patient outcomes, but it is also critical for efficient, cost-effective operations. The team believes that patients have been benefited due to fast and better diagnostic decision than earlier. As a team, we have the most critical and appropriate role to reduce the patients’ hospitalisation.
JFMTI fully understands that the huge medical domination has been the main impediment for the growth of AHPs leading to their suppression, which needs to be addressed, lest it becomes too late, if they are to contribute meaningfully to the well-being of public health. Forum believes in effective delivery of health services depending largely on the nature of education, training and appropriate orientation towards community health of all categories of medical and health personnel and their capacity to function as an integrated team. JFMTI is also aware that to develop effective, corruption-free, robust health care system and efficient service delivery there should be proper evaluation, through empowerment and well being of Allied health professionals. Forums’ draft submission on “Allied & Healthcare Professionals Central Council Bill-2015” is the single national voice for all major categories of allied health professionals‘ and has been striving hard for reforming current regulatory framework for the health sector in India.
Our Past Efforts for National Council of Allied Health Professionals- since the very conception of JFMTI, we had been persistently demanding for a statutory system to regulate the field of allied health sciences and were optimistic, when the “Paramedical Councils Bill-2007” was introduced in the Parliament, during the first term of UPA Government. Since then various major steps taken collectively by JFMTI constituents are chronologically listed as under:
- Organized joint meeting of allied health professionals in January, 2008 to discuss and submit a common memorandum about the earlier “Paramedical and Physiotherapy Central Council Bill-2007” in Delhi.
- Presented our views before Parliamentary Standing Committee on Health & Family Welfare on the said Paramedical Bill
- A joint meeting was organised in February 2008, with all other paramedical/allied health professional to discuss various aspect of the Paramedical Bill and to chalk out future programme of action.
- A meeting was organised to organize a Joint demonstration with other paramedical staff in support of early enactment of Paramedical Bill at Jantar mantar. Following this a Press Conference was organised on said issues at Malwankar Hall, Rafi marg Delhi on 3rd March 2008.
- Organized Joint demonstration at Jantar Mantar demanding an early enactment of Paramedical Bill on 5th March, 2008.
- A meeting was organised to discuss about delegation and the presentation which was to be presented before parliamentary Standing Committee on Health &FW on proposed Paramedical Bill as a JFMLTS got invitation from Parliamentary Committee to present their views and suggestions on said Bill, on 1st August,2008.
- Meeting was organised on 2nd January, 2009 to review the already decided protest programme of JFMTI and black badges were worn by all Delhi based JFMLTS associated health institutions/hospitals.
- Meeting was organised to organize protest demonstrations of lab staff in all Delhi based hospital on 10-12 February and mass CL on 18/2/2009 and protest demonstration was organised as per decided of JFMTI programme. It was covered and supported by all print and electronic media in Delhi including by various National News Papers.
- Held official Meeting with Joint Secretary, Ministry of Health & FW on 9th Feb, 2009 on the Paramedical Bill and other relevant issues, and also several other meetings. Unfortunately the said Bill could not be passed even after the detailed deliberations and recommendations of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Health & FW, GOI.
- JFMLTS to JFMTI: A meeting of with Medical Technologists Associations of several state associations like PGIMTA Chandigarh, ACLAP, Maharashtra, ASEOPPL, Gujarat, MLTA PGI Haryana and many Delhi based associations) was organised in Delhi on 22nd June 2010, and they have proposed to join joint forum and it was unanimously decided to change its name from “Joint Forum of Medical Laboratory Technical Staff” to “Joint Forum of Medical Technologists of India” (JFMTI) as a national level Joint Forum for Medical technologists association from all major allied Health profession which will be a representative organisation for all affiliated association of medical technologists.
- UPA-II to set up a new common regulator NCHRH for health sector scraping all existing regulatory bodies like MCI, INC, DCI etc. National Debate on proposed NCHRH Bill-2009 National Debate on National Council for Human resources in health Bill- 2009 was organized on 4th October 2010, in Delhi where representative of more than 27 organisations participated from strata of health care including Medicos, on this national health issue and resolved to submit a Joint Submission to Government of India under the banner of JFMTI. A comprehensive memorandum was submitted to all concerned official/ministries of Government of India including Prime Minister office(PMO).
- Organised a National Seminar on importance of National Statutory Council for Health Professionals in India on 1st September, 2010.
- Sent more than one lakh Post cards during Sept, 2010 to the then Hon‘ble Prime Minister of India, demanding an early enactment of National Council Bill for allied health professions.
- Organised a National Convention of Medical Technologists in Delhi on 16th January 2011, and decided to file PIL in Hon‘ble High Court justifying National Council as an issue of public interest.
- JFMTI organised National Workshops on proposed NIAHS Project of Government of India for establishing National Institute of Paramedical Sciences (NIPS) and Regional Institute of Paramedical Sciences (RIPS), under 11th Five years plan and it was also decided to file PIL which was decided during last meeting. Besides various issues regarding functioning of JFMTI were also discussed in detail.
- Filed Public Interest Litigation (PIL) in Uttrakhand High Court for National Council matter on 18th August 2011.
- Organised National Executive Workshop of Medical Technologists at Delhi in 2011 regarding NIAHS plan of MoHFW, and National Council was again demanded for betterment of health education and services for proper implementation of NIAHS.
- Organised All India Executive Summit at PGIMER Chandigarh, to discuss revised “NATIONAL COMMISSION FOR HUMAN RESOURCES IN HEALTH(NCHRH) BILL -2011” for making a comprehensive submission. Earlier in 2009 also, the government had come out with “The National Council for Human Resources in Health Bill, 2009”. As already mentioned above, we had organized a national debate on the Bill which was attended by representatives from all sections of health, including those of doctors and nurses from all over the country. It was welcomed, though it required number of amendments in view of the need to address the issue of not only regulating the medical education and providing the nation with trained and authentic human resources but to overhaul health sector. The Bill was viewed in a broader perspective, not only limited to Allied Health Professionals but the health sector as a whole and made our submission accordingly to the then Ministry of Health, Government of India (MH&FW,GOI).
- Presented a comprehensive submission on NCHRH Bill-2011 to the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Health & FW but unfortunately NCHRH Bill was rejected by the Committee and the said bill could not be passed due to the medico centric mindset of MoH&FW and Parliamentary Standing Committee, keeping all other aspects aside.
- JFMTI organised “Black badges Programme” on 4th December, 2012, demanding earliest formation of the central council.
- JFMTI organized “All India March to Parliament” on 16th March 2013 demanding earliest formation of the central council and for other professional issues of Indian AHPs.
- Forum held a meeting with MoH&FW and it was assured to establish a “National Board for Allied Health Sciences-NBAHS”.
- JFMTI organized “1st National Allied Health Professionals‘ Conference-AHPCON-2014” at RML, PGIMER, New Delhi and raised this issue strongly for expediting the said board establishment and it was assured by the then Secretary, MoH&FW, Chief Guest of the occasion, to expedite the issue on priority.
- Several Meetings of JFMTI were organised with Secretary, MoH&FW, on the issue during May to Dec, 2014 and the same issue was raised in every meeting time and again.
- JFMTI Officials/ Experts contributed in “National Curriculum development” process of five leading Allied health professions under respective National task Force Expert Committees.
- Forum held meeting with Director, AHS, JS and Secretary MoH& FW, and requested to expedite the Process of National Boards which could not get the approval of cabinet and other agencies despite several attempts by the MoH&FW and finally was turned down.
- JFMTI raised this issue again during the official meeting held with the then Health Secretary on 18th March, 2015 and, in the subsequent meetings with Joint Secretary (ARR) on 30th April, 2015. It was assured by them to speed up the matter of Council again by introducing a fresh Bill in the Parliament in line with earlier Paramedical Bill, which was introduced in 2007.
- As per the assurance of secretary MoH&FW given to the JFMTI, Ministry has finally initiated the process for introducing a fresh “Allied Health Professionals‘ Central Council Bill-2015” which was available on MoH&FW website for seeking comments from all stakeholders.
- In reference to MoH&FW Public Notice, JFMTI organized a “National Fore thought Meeting on proposed Bill” on 18th October, 2015 in Seminar Hall, Kalawati Saran Hospital, New Delhi and submitted a clause wise detailed comments to the Ministry.
- JFMTI organized “2nd National Allied Health Professionals‘ Conference-AHPCON-2016” at AIIMS, New Delhi and raised this above said issues strongly for hastening the formation of Central Council at an earliest. It was assured by the then Joint Secretary, MoH&FW, who was Chief Guest of the occasion, that efforts will be taken on war footing to settle the issue on priority.
- JFMTI Organized National executive meeting of allied health professionals in December, 2016 at PGIMS Rohtak Haryana, to discuss various pending issues regarding council formation. It was decided in the meeting, that in addition to pursuing this matter with MoH&FW, a PIL could be filed to pressurize government for the formation of globally compatible Central Council.