Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, on 25 June 2018 signed an MoU with Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU) to scale up the short term healthcare courses through its available robust platform. The signing ceremony was presided over by J P Nadda, Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare, Prakash Javadekar, Union Minister of Human Resource Development and Dharmendra Pradhan,Union Minister of Petroleum & Natural Gas and Skill Development & Entrepreneurship. Ashwini Kumar Choubey and Anupriya Patel, Ministers of State for Health and Family Welfare were also present at the signing ceremony.Also present at the function were, Preeti Sudan, Secretary (Health), S B Arora, Vice Chancellor, IGNOU, S Sandhu, Additional Secretary (MHRD) along with other senior officers of the three Ministries.
Speaking at the occasion, Nadda said that under the guidance of the Prime Minister,skill development has taken centre-stage. Under this MoU, curriculum for 10 courses especially designed for the health sector, will provide more than 14 lakh trained manpower by 2025. He further said that AB-NHPM will protect more 10.00 crore families and at the same time Health and Wellness Centres (HWCs) will deliver comprehensive primary health care.
The H&WC would provide preventive, promotive, and curative care for non-communicable diseases, dental, mental, geriatric care, palliative care, etc. He further stated that the Government has initiated universal screening of common NCDs such as diabetes, hypertension and common cancers along with Tuberculosis and Leprosy. All this will require trained manpower and the Health Ministry is taking all the necessary steps to address this.
Stressing on the need for mid-level service provider, Nadda said that with the coming up of 1.5 lakh Health and Wellness Centres (HWCs) by 2022, there will be an urgent need for such health care providers. “The potential for skilled healthcare workers and professionals will increase immensely in the health sector. Such courses will ensure that the health sector gets the adequate skilled health workers,” Nadda added. The Health Minister further pointed out that we must also ensure that quality is not compromised and there has to be regular review to add new courses.
Prakash Javadekar, Union Minister of Human Resource Development said that this is the historic moment as three ministries of health, education and skills are coming together to meet the large manpower requirements in the burgeoning healthcare sector. Here, Dharmendra Pradhan, Union Minister of Petroleum & Natural Gas and Skill Development & Entrepreneurship emphasised on the importance of quality of the courses and placement of the manpower.
The combined objective under this MoU is to scale up the health programs to create trained personnel in the healthcare sector and to set up a dedicated cell for developing, implementing and certifying the skill based programs at IGNOU. A robust monitoring and assessment framework will be established under the MoU to ensure that MoHFW standards are followed stringently. MoHFW will provide for financial assistance to IGNOU for establishing the structure and initiating the programs and the courses will be initiated in a phased manner across the Country by IGNOU.
Initially four courses will be launched country wide under this MoU, namely Home Health Aide, Geriatric Care Assistant, Phlebotomist and General Duty Assistant. Followed by remaining six skill-based curriculum as standardised by MoHFW- Diabetes Educator, Dietetic Aide, EMT-Basic, Dispensing Optician/VT and Medical Equipment Technology Assistant.
In addition to the ongoing and strong collaboration with Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship, MoHFW has identified IGNOU to scale up the skill based courses in healthcare sector and train 14 lakh by 2025. The signing of this MoU is under the existing framework of ‘Skills for Life, Save a Life’ initiative, under which ten short term course curricula were formally released by this Ministry in June 2017, along with Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship.This MOU will create training and monitoring network at District Level integrating the tertiary, secondary and primary health care institutions. It is envisioned that this MoU will take up large scale training in a time-bound manner at an affordable cost and will be accessible to all citizens of India.