Key issues of Indian Allied Health Professionals highlighted during JFMTI’ 11th National Executive Council Meeting held at PGIMS, Rohtak
JOINT FORUM OF MEDICAL TECHNOLOGISTS OF INDIA, An All India representative organization of Medical Technologists staff Associations from various important disciplines of medical technology profession, such as medical laboratory staff, Radiology technology staff, Operation Technology staff, Radiotherapy technical staff, Cardiology technology staff, Neurology technology staff, Dialysis technology staff, organized its 11 National Executive Council Meeting on 18th December, 2016 at PGIMS Rohtak Haryana. Delegates/ Leaders of Medical Technology/Allied Health Associations across the country participated in the deliberations showed their disappointments over the long pending policy issues related to standardization of allied health professions and Professionals.
Sh. Padam Singh, President, MLT Association, PGIMS welcomed the delegates. Addressing the meeting, Dr. Pankaj Kaul, National President of JFMTI said that the allied health science has made significant strides and contribution during the last few decades to the amazing development of medical science in general. In view of this several small and big countries have set up a systematic structure for allied health professionals. It is, however, regrettable, that in India, no such thing exists even after 68 years of Independence. There is no mechanism to regulate the health professional education system and neither the state governments nor the Centre have shown seriousness to tackle this situation.
Sh. G.S Wadhawan Vice President of JFMTI told the delegates that in absence of any regulatory legal mechanism to oversee the educational facilities for millions of paramedical workers educational institutions have been mushrooming unabatedly, only to earn profit that lack even basic requirement for such education. Not only that, Medical Technology staff, whether in the government sector or in private sector face a plethora of problems since there is no law to address their problems. For example, despite their qualification they do not have licenses to work on their own, they do not have recognized positions in the hierarchy for identical works, there are no proper rules for, recruitment, service conditions, salaries and allowances etc.
JFMTI General Secretary Shri Kaptan Singh Sehrawat, Central government has been insensitive and indifferent to the plight of the allied health professionals; with the result the first attempt to form Central Para Medical Councils bill-2007 failed to see the light of the day. Then, the government came out with the proposal to set up a common body, NCHRH, incorporating the Central Paramedical Councils Bill -2007. After three years of discussions and debates the NCHRH was consigned to dustbin when the parliamentary standing committee turned it down. At this juncture the decades old demands raised by allied health professionals are still crying to be met. Then, the Health ministry came out with the proposal to set up National Board for Allied Health Professionals which did not get the cabinet approval even after three years, as some health bodies lobbied against it putting forward certain demands. Despite the experiences of multiple failures, the Health ministry did not find it necessary to hold consultation with concerned allied health professionals associations or stake holders, which is a matter of great concern. Now, the government in a hurry, has come out with a poor and an unrealistic draft thereby repeating its past mistakes.
It is pertinent to mention here that the Health ministry, Govt. of India has sought comments from the concerned employees on the proposed bill till 25 October 2015. Even as the delegates welcomed the decision of the government to set up a Central Council for Allied Health professionals, but showed their disappointment as it could not been processed further till date. The delegates criticized the fickle attitude of the health ministry on such an important national issue.
Shri. M.L, Bhagwat Sr. Vice President of JFMTI expressed the view that it was not possible to know the actual number of allied health professionals, since there is no registration system in place. Not only that, there is no system of evaluation or necessary criteria, so it is not possible to have the correct picture of the various needs, number of employees in the states that needs to set up NIPS and RIPS under NIHS as proposed by Central government. Under such circumstances, it is pointless to talk about health tourism and provision of health for all under Universal Health Coverage (UHC) scheme. Even though, all these are very serious problems government does not seem to be serious on health-related issues. Instead of facing problems of the health sector, government is resorting to privatisation and outsourcing which are going to distort the public health sector which has suffering from various maladies.
The delegates who also addressed the meeting include Harish Pandey, Padam Singh, Balwan Singh Mehla, Sh Ramesh Duhan, Vikram Singh etc. They congratulated JFMTI for its sustained efforts in right direction.
In the past too, JFMTI carried on various programmes, such a national level debate on Central councils, giving memoranda from time to time to highlight the problems of allied health professionals, sending one lakh postcards to the then prime minister to emphasize the need to create a separate mechanism for allied health professionals. It is a matter of regret that the government assurances on these issues remain still unfulfilled.