Consultative meeting on NCAHP Act held

NAHARLAGUN, 15 Jul: The medical education, training & research directorate held a ‘consultative and advocacy meeting’ with representatives of the higher & technical education directorate, Rajiv Gandhi University, the health services directorate and the family welfare directorate on the National Commission for Allied and Healthcare Professionals (NCAHP) Act, 2021, here on Thursday.

The meeting discussed the high points of the NCAHP Act and the action required by the state.

In a press release, the directorate informed that the NCAHP Act “will establish a statutory body or commission that will frame policies and standards and regulate professional conduct and qualifications for allied healthcare professionals, besides providing uniformity of service standards across institutions in the country.”

The bill was passed by the parliament in March this year. The act has provision for the states to set up state allied and healthcare councils to execute major functions of the act through autonomous boards.

The state councils will be the implementation agencies, while the national commission will be the overarching body devising policies and introducing the concept of maintaining national and state registers of all allied healthcare professionals.

Henceforth, permission for establishment of new allied and healthcare institutions, new courses of study, etc, will be under the purview of the act, and no person other than a registered allied and healthcare professional shall (a) hold office as an allied and healthcare professional in the government or any institution maintained by a local or other authority; (b) provide service in any of the recognized categories in any state; and (c) “be entitled to sign or authenticate any certificate required by any law for the time being in force to be signed or authenticated by a duly qualified allied and healthcare professional.”

The act defines an allied health professional as an “associate, technician or technologist who is trained to perform any technical and practical task to support diagnosis and treatment of illness, disease, injuries or impairment, and to support implementation of any healthcare treatment and referral plan recommended by a medical, nursing or any other healthcare professional, and who has obtained any qualification of diploma or degree under this act.” It defines a healthcare professional as “a scientist, therapist or other professional who studies, advises, researches, supervises or provides preventive, curative, rehabilitative, therapeutic or promotional health services and who has obtained any qualification of degree under this act.”

The allied services broadly include professional categories such as physiotherapy, occupational therapy, ophthalmic sciences, nutrition sciences, medical laboratory and life sciences, medical radiology, imaging and therapeutic technology, medical technologists and physician associates, trauma, burn care and surgical-/anaesthesia-related technology, community care and behavioural health sciences, health information management, and health informatics.

The directorate informed that it was decided in the meeting to propose establishment of a state allied and healthcare council at the earliest, so as to exercise such powers and discharge such duties as may be laid down under the act.

The meeting was chaired by Medical Education Training & Research Director Dr R Doye, and was attended by DFW Dr Emi Rumi, ADHS Dr S Bhattacharjee, DD (TE) Sanjay Bengia, DDME Dr SE Khamti, RGU SMO Dr Akin Tana Tara, HRS Dr Nabam Peter and DD (Nursing) Kijum Karga.