On the Need to Make Health Care a Priority Sector

Nigam Gupta

The healthcare sector workforce is the most vital asset and nowadays the added demand for trained and skilled professionals for offering quality services to the patients is taking place. But, regrettably there’s no serious efforts made in J&K to promote the ‘Skill development and knowledge enhancement in the healthcare sector, which is not only the need of the hour but otherwise, much needed to save precious lives.
As per the data revealed by various studies and organizations, over 100 million fresh participants to the workforce will require skill training by 2022, and 300 million of the existing workforce will require additional skill training over the same time period. But, who will let our ‘power superintendents’ to know about the compulsory trainings or changes else new curriculums required to bring the mandatory qualities and practices through innovative mechanisms to bring and manage the needed excellence.
If truth be told, nothing serious has been done by various governments in this regard. Above and beyond, the kind of special romantic actions been bestowed upon announcing new buildings of MBBS colleges else beginning of the critical services like Dialysis and so on with same ‘Old Indian Style Innovation- JUGAAD’ without paying much attention on ‘Quality Care’ as such been made presented. Whereby, things required to be initiated with specialised and trained workforce meant for the specific areas of healthcare. As all such areas of the critical importance should have an adequate and well-trained health workforce for better patient care for achieving the set goals in a definite manner, health care must be safe, effective, timely, efficient, equitable and people-centred.
Even though, the health sector employs five million workers in India it continues to have low density of health professionals with figures for the country being lower than those of Sri Lanka, China, Thailand, United Kingdom and Brazil, according to a World Health Organisation database. This workforce statistic has put the country into the “critical shortage of healthcare providers” category. Anyhow; still lot can be achieved by way of designing requisite courses for different categories of non-physician care providers. Area specified training programs be made planned. And, competencies (and not qualification alone) should be valued and reform must be brought in regulatory structures to provide flexibility for innovations, as suggested also by WHO experts. Thus for, few special UP-SKILL Programs alongside SKILL Healthcare programs be immediately made incorporated in the existing systems.
Not to forget, a serious lifesaving approach also required to be made confirmed by seats of powers in the administrations toward making trained the every allied healthcare worker those include ‘Security Personals, Nursing Orderlies etc. as First Responders. Be known, that if every police cop be made trained as First Responder, he / she could save many precious lives on roads and highways like a super cop of JK Police did the same near Ramban and protected a man from cardiac arrest through CPR, which is the main teaching imparted to first responders.
Similarly, these days’ national agencies like NSDC / HSSC etc. launched short accredited courses and programmes to bridge the gap but no such program ever been introduced or made recognised by our local bodies and so-called councils meant for the purpose. Such ignorance or delays, by authorities should not be acceptable especially when, it is a matter of healthcare or education. As such programmes would certainly help to begin a new era in the healthcare sector and skill development.
But all said and done, one should make note that initiation of such programs, is beneficial both in terms of generating employment else filling the manpower gaps and saving lives. Globally, there is a shortage of about 80 million workforce.
In some of the emerging areas like homecare, home healthcare and equipment care and so on, there is a severe shortage and there is a need for technicians also in big numbers. Non-medical staff can also be made trained through short term certification programs.

—The author can be re reached at: nigamassociates@gmail.com