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HomeLegal NewsSC admits PIL seeking implementation of NCAHP Act, 2021

SC admits PIL seeking implementation of NCAHP Act, 2021

“Indian healthcare system Doctors centric, Ignores Allied and Healthcare professionals”

New Delhi : The Supreme Court bench of Chief Justice D.Y. Chandrachud, Justice J.B. Pardiwala, and Justice Manoj Misra issued a notice in a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) filed by the Joint Forum of Medical Technologists of India (JFMTI) that seeks the implementation of the National Commission for Allied & Healthcare Professions Act, 2021. The PIL also seeks the establishment of the respective Professional Councils and State Allied & Healthcare Councils, as mandated by Section 22(1) of the Act. The bench issued notice and sought the responses of the Central government along with State governments. “Issue notice. Returnable in 3 weeks. Liberty to serve central agency in addition. We request the learned Attorney General to depute any Additional Solicitor General to assist this Court since the Petition relates to non-compliance with the provisions of the National Commission for Allied & Healthcare Professions Act, 2021.”

The PIL seeks the urgent implementation of the National Commission for Allied & Healthcare Professions (NCAHP) Act, 2021 to regulate and standardize the allied healthcare sector in India, ensuring better quality healthcare services and education. The PIL states that though the NCAHP Act came into force on May 25, 2021 and two years have passed still its provisions have not been implemented. The Petitioner asserts that, according to the initial timeline, the State Councils should have been constituted within six months but the Central Government has repeatedly extended the timeline for its implementation, with five such extensions granted to date. The PIL asserts that despite being a major support pillar of the healthcare sector, there has not been any council for the Allied and Healthcare Professionals that would establish a robust regulatory framework across the country which will play the role of a standard setter and regulator for Allied Healthcare, and Professionals. The PIL highlights that several institutes have started mushrooming across the country giving out diplomas and certificate courses to students without any regulatory control or teaching pattern in the allied healthcare sector.

It further states that the absence of an institutional framework for certifying degrees and diplomas from recognized institutions poses a hurdle to job opportunities in the country. Therefore, the need for standardizing syllabi, curricula, teaching staff, and institutions became evident, leading to the proposal for the establishment of a council to set standards for previously unregulated categories, as per the plea. “Health workforce in Indian healthcare system has been defined with focus limited to few cadres such as doctors, nurses and frontline workers, wherein, several other healthcare professionals being the Allied Health professionals remained unidentified, unregulated and underutilized over these years. The persistent demand for a regulatory framework to ensure appropriate regulation and standardization of such professions has been seen for several decades”, states the petitioner in the PIL.

Highlights of PILSeeks implementation of the National Commission for Allied & Healthcare Professions Act, 2021Seeks establishment of the respective Professional Councils and State Allied & Healthcare CouncilsRegulation for allied health professionalsInstitutional framework for certifying degrees and diplomas from recognized institutionsStandardizing syllabus, curriculum, teaching staff, and institutions that provide education to the allied health professionals