VELLORE: Allied Health Professionals (AHPs) must play a key role in turning doctor-centric India’s health ecosystem into a patient-centric care and community-oriented system, according to Dr T S Ravikumar, director-cum-vice-chancellor of Sri Venkateswara Institute of Medical Sciences, Tirupathi who delivered the convocation address of the CMC School of Allied Health Sciences at the Christian Medical College campus on Monday.
“You will have to play a role both in terms of alleviating illness and maintaining and achieving wellness as physician extenders,” he told outgoing graduates. He urged them not to underestimate their compassion.
“With this, health is a service, without it, it is just a job,” he added.
Pointing to the shortage of 65,000 allied health professionals in the country, “there is a quantum need for trained technologists, technicians and other AHPs in the country. Overcoming the demand-supply paradox requires policies and innovative implementation designs towards fair distribution of allied health workforce in needed areas, he added. The multifarious roles played by the AHPs “will enable you to transform the current ‘Siloed-Care’ into ‘Seamless Care’.
While regulation of AHPs will require steps for standardization of curricula as well as criteria for competency-based education and training to be put in place without delay. According to him, India’s health system needs to improve its efficiency through the use of hospital information systems and electronic health records, by leveraging the country’s innovative I.T. sector. This remains a huge untapped potential for Allied Health Professionals to participate in health-care transformation.
“Your future role may extend beyond medical records, into m-health and developing other frugal technologies,” he noted. Generation of adequate, qualified human resources for health to ensure quality care at primary, secondary and tertiary levels of health systems in India is the need of the hour, he pointed out.
As many as 217 allied health graduates received their degree certificates in 44 courses offered by the CMC on the occasion. CMC director Dr Sunil Chandy and college principal Dr Alfred Job Daniel spoke.