Lok Sabha today cleared the National Commission for Allied and Healthcare Professions Bill, a Bill to set up a commission for regulating and prescribing uniform education standards for allied and healthcare professionals. Passed by voice vote, the bill seeks to provide for regulation and maintenance of standards of education and services by allied and healthcare professionals.

“The paramedics and allied healthcare workers are critical part of the medical profession and their contribution is similar to doctors, if not more. The group of allied professionals is large and the bill is trying to regulate this field by providing dignity to their roles,” said Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan, while replying the debate.

The bill has already been passed by Rajya Sabha last week. While talking about the bill Vardhan mentioned that the legislation is aimed at fulfiling long-pending demands of the sector, and enhance employment opportunities for professionals. The minister also appreciated the work of paramedics and allied healthcare workers lab technicians, radiographers, dieticians during the Covid-19 pandemic.

“The Bill aims to establish a statutory body or commission that frames policies and standards, regulate professional conduct and qualifications for allied healthcare professionals, besides providing uniformity of service standards across institutions,” said Vardhan.

The chairman and vice chairman of the body will be selected for two years and they would be eligible for renomination for further two terms.

“All standards have been coded by international yardsticks and there will be representations from all states and union territories on this commission with each state having state-level commissions. This will help in enhancing their standard and skills,” shared Vardhan.

Congress member Balubhau Narayanrao Dhanorkar said his party supports the bill as allied healthcare workers are a key to providing treatment to patients. BJP member Subhash Bhamre said the bill reflected that the Modi government is dedicated to the service of the poor and through the bill the government wants to bring over 50 types of professionals under the regulatory network.

In the Question Hour minister of Communications and IT Ravi Shankar Prasad said the government is working to provide optical fibre connection to 6.5 lakh villages, adding that the country was kept going by the Information Technology mobile infrastructure during the lockdown.

“This is the communication strategy of the Modi government to provide optical fibre connection to 6.5 lakh villages…The country was kept going by the Information Technology mobile infrastructure during Covid-19 lockdown period,” said Prasad.

The Airports Economic Regulatory Authority of India (Amendment) Bill, 2021 also introduced in Lok Sabha today.