A trained helthcare workforce needed

Nigam Gupta

Healthcare sector workforce is 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 no serious efforts has been 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 datas revealed by various studies and organizations, above 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’ know about the compulsory trainings or changes or new curriculums required to bring the mandatory qualities and practicesthrough innovative mechanisms to bring and manage the needed excellence.
If truth be accepted, nothing serious has been done by our Regimes in this regard. Above and beyond, the kind of special romantic actions have been bestowed upon announcing new buildings of MBBS colleges else beginning of the critical services like Dialysis etc. 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 if, 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 can be 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 incorporated in the existing systems.
Not to forget, a serious life saving approach is also required to be made by seats of powers in the administrations toward making the every allied healthcare worker trained. These include ‘Security Personnel, 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 near Ramban when he protected a man from cardiac arrest through CPR, which is the main teaching to first responders.
Similarly, these days’ national agencies like NSDC / HSSC etc. have launched short accredited courses and programmes to bridge the gap but no such program has ever been introduced or recognised by our local bodies and so-called councils meant for the purpose. Such an 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 in India.
All said and done, one should make note that initiation of such programs, is beneficial both in terms of generating employments and saving lives. And, in a country like India not just shortage of skilled manpower but also lack of infrastructure for healthcare training and skilling is also a challenge. Globally, there is a shortage of about 80 million workforce. India is still short of six million paramedics today and need is specialised staff between doctors and para medics. As per the WHO standards, 2.9 beds are required for every 1000 population but in India, we have only 0.9 beds. In order to meet this requirement, we need to add one lakh beds each year both in public and private hospitals. So, every bed needs about six to eight manpower. So, one lakh beds would need eight lakhs skilled resources.
Some of the emerging areas like homecare, home healthcare and equipment care etc. face a severe shortage and there is a need for technicians also in big numbers. Non-medical staff can also be trained through short term certification programs. In order to implement these programmes including Ayushman Bharat, the Skill India Mission, our state government would also need a large number of trained workforce to make these programmes happen on ground successfully.