Beyond NEET: paramedical professions

A career in the healthcare system has taken the lead, it is natural that the first option in the healthcare industry is to become a doctor and enter a graduate program in medicine. Given the competition and the number of places available and the increasing cost of education in both the public and private sectors, the expectations of young people are dashed when they fail to reach medicine. There is no need to despair as we have healthcare options and alternatives that can guarantee excellent employment prospects in addition to a fulfilling career. One of the most promising is the paramedical profession (AHP).

The delivery of health care is no longer just for doctors and nurses. A multiple specialty or a single specialty can only deliver quality health care with the support of a variety of health professionals. In Western countries, allied health professionals play a critical role along the entire value chain of health service delivery. In the United States, they represent 60% of all healthcare professionals.

AHPs include people involved in the provision of health-related services through therapeutic, diagnostic, curative, preventive and rehabilitative interventions. They work in interdisciplinary health teams to promote, protect, treat or manage a person’s physical, mental, social, emotional and environmental health and holistic well-being. They contribute to the delivery of health-related services for the assessment, identification and prevention of disorders. Studies on rehabilitation and health system management suggested by the Department of Health and Welfare (MOHFW) indicate that the demand for allied health professionals is significantly greater than the supply. India would need 6.5 million allied health professionals by 2024. The need for these health professionals has now been realized by our government and strategies are in place to use their services.

The delivery of health care becomes more and more complex with the increasing burden of disease. The success of many health care activities requires the support of qualified and competent professionals. It is now a team effort based on the expertise of clinicians and non-clinicians. Health care professionals and providers were previously known as paramedics, at the grassroots level they are now referred to as paramedical health professionals. Their qualification can range from diploma to doctorate in various specialties. Today, there is an urgent need for competent professionals capable of handling highly sophisticated medical equipment.

Range of expertise

After medical or surgical treatment, some conditions require intensive rehabilitation for holistic treatment. This is where allied health professionals like physiotherapist, occupational therapist, speech therapist, dialysis technologist, medical technologist, radiology technologist, etc. have an essential role to play. In the UK, over 84,000 AHP with the range of skills and expertise play key roles within national health services. Australia’s healthcare system is run not only by their doctors and nurses, but also by the 90,000 qualified and academically trained AHPs essential to the system. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, AHPs fall under seven of the ten fastest-growing occupations. Passage of the National Paramedical and Health Professionals Bill in Parliament and the establishment of a National Allied Health Professions Council bodes well for the future professional in terms of employment opportunities, recognition and compensation in India. .

The author is a Microbiologist, Certificate of Auditor in Infection Control at Kidney Hospital.


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