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Indian Government To Establish A Dedicated Public Health & Management Cadre For The Health Care Professionals

Author: Medical Team (Alniche Life Sciences)


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In April this year, the Union government published a guideline paper on the establishment of a 'public health and management cadre' (PHMC) as well as new versions of the Indian Public Health Standards (IPHS) — to ensure excellent health care in government institutions. The 'public health and management cadre' (PHMC) is a follow-up to the recommendations of India's National Health Policy 2017 and the 13th Conference of the Central Council of Health and Family Welfare (CCHFW), both of which urged that PHMC be established in all states by 2022. Most Indian states now have a teaching cadre (medical college faculty members) and a specialized cadre of doctors engaging in clinical services (with exceptions such as Tamil Nadu and Odisha).

Salient Features

According to the proposal, a central public health cadre for medical professionals would be developed, similar to the Central services officers recruited through the Union Public Service Commission. The permanent cadre will be used to recruit all health professionals, including those working for the directorate general of health services (DGHS), and will assist the government in implementing healthcare programs. As a result, the framework is being created inside the Ministry of Health.

The guidance has proposed four verticals at state, district and block levels i.e., specialist cadre, public health cadre, health management cadre, and teaching cadre. Specialists cadre will consist of clinical specialists having postgraduate degree or diploma in medicine, surgery, orthopedics, obstetrics and gynecology, dermatology, psychiatry, The public health cadre will include professionals with an MBBS degree and postgraduate qualification on preventive and social medicine, or public. The health management cadre will consist of professionals with PG qualification in public health and MBA.

This framework will separate the clinical and public health cadres, resulting in more effective public health care delivery because doctors will be relieved of administrative duties. Within a particular time, frame, all new MBBS doctors will be expected to obtain a public health qualification (3-5 years). Graduates with a postgraduate certification in public health (70 percent) or an MBA with concentration in human resources, procurement and supply chain, finance, operations, and hospital and health management will be the majority of those hired.

States will have the flexibility to adjust the proportion based on the local environment and requirements, and each cadre's career advancement will be separate in their own streams, with the option of inter-cadre deputation provided a person meets the qualifications. States have been advised to develop a road map for providing public health training to in-service candidates, establish a recruitment board to recruit required doctors for sanctioned positions, and create a structure for a health management cadre that includes a mix of public health professionals and MBAs.

Way forward

Establishment of Public health & Management Cadre will help in improving Public Health parameters and addressing Endemic and Pandemic in future effectively.