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Allied Healthcare Professionals: Government sets up separate board

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Separate board for healthcare professionals

Healthcare of the country has been taken to a new level by healthcare professionals like physiotherapists, pathology technologists and medical radiation technologists. In order to appreciate their hardwork and dedication, the government has decided to set up a separate Board to ensure proper standards and their professional development. The National Board for Allied Health Sciences, will provide a platform for standardisation of courses and curriculum, in fields like physiotherapy, optometry, speech language pathology, medical lab technology and radiography.

A recent survey revealed that there is a shortage of approximately 6.4 million allied health professionals in the country. Though there are regulatory bodies and council, they monitor only doctors, dentists nurses and pharmacists.

Keeping this view in mind, The Public Health Foundation of India (PHFI), took a step forward and submitted an interim roadmap for setting up the Board in a report to the ministry last year. Joint Secretary in the Health Ministry, Vishwant Mehta says "The Board would lead to a creation of competent and qualified healthcare service professionals, who would look after the day to day aspects of the medical professions so that specialised doctors can devote their time to diagnosis and treatment of diseases, conditions and surgeries. The basic purpose is to discourage unqualified people from practicing as well as to maintain the standards of these healthcare providers.

According to the study submitted by PFI "A supply-demand analysis undertaken for urban and rural population reveals a national shortage of approximately 6.4 million allied health professionals, with the maximum gaps in the states like UP, West Bengal, Andhra Pradesh and Bihar."

In order to cope up with this problem, the Health Ministry has decided to set up one national and eight regional institute of allied healthcare across the nation that will serve as centres for excellence.

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