1.Research on Education of Health Professionals
Health system strengthening has been an extensively explored public health area at PHFI since its initiation. Many of PHFI’s research projects focus on human resource for health and education for health professionals as part of health system strengthening. Given below is a list of PHFI projects related to human resource for health and education for health professionals:
Cross-Country Comparison of Master’s and Doctoral Level Public Health Programs with a Focus on Competency-Driven Curriculum: This PHFI project is being conducted in collaboration with Harvard School of Public Health [HSPH] and the China Medical Board [CMB]. The objectives of the project are to use a questionnaire-based approach to undertake a landscaping exercise of Master’s and Doctoral Level Public Health Programs with a Focus on Competency-Driven Curriculum and to undertake a cross-country comparison of competency frameworks [and related issues] used in different Bangladesh, India, United States and Vietnam. The project also aims to chart and compare the educational flow and pedagogic patterns across various public health programs, to explore the employers’ expectations about what competences they want from Master’s and Doctoral level graduates, examine the scope for innovations in training programs, acquisition of global health perspectives and employment opportunities for public health graduates and suggest possible strategic pathways that can be adopted for facilitating public health educational reforms.
Situation analysis of public health, medical and nursing education in India (5 C Network Study): After the launch of a report on Health Professional Education for a New Century: a “Global Independent Commission” on December 4th, 2010, there was a solid movement in health education reform in some countries in Asia. Thailand, Vietnam, Bangladesh, China and India commit to implement and conduct distinct and suitable health professionals’ education reform with respect to the nation’s socio-economic and cultural situation and trend as well as domestic health service system. These countries formed Asian Network on HRH Education. This network agreed on joint actions including joint surveys on HRH education situation and trend, promotion of faculty and student exchange, information sharing and learning in health profession education (medical, nurse and public health professionals) reform plus other internationally collaborative activities. The 5 countries planned to conduct a joint survey on situation analysis of education for health professionals (medical, nursing and public health). The objective of this exercise is to facilitate appropriate reforms in education. A common survey protocol and study tools have been agreed by all the five countries. It has been agreed to undertake situation analysis at three levels: national level assessment, institutional level assessment and graduate surveys. The pilot testing of tools has been carried out and study protocol is finalized. Each country team is expected to undertake situation analysis of medical, public health and nursing education in their countries using common protocol
Career Pathways for Doctors Working in Government Health System in Odisha - Current Scenario and Future Opportunities: Odisha, one of the Indian states with low health indicators, is still grappling with shortage of doctors having 30% of vacancy at various levels in most of the districts. Recognizing the need for increasing physicians’ attraction and retention in public system, the Government of Odisha initiated efforts through provision of incentives and recruitment drives. Yet, retention of doctors in rural and hard to reach areas is still below desired levels. This study examined the current policies on recruitment, deployment and promotion for doctors in the state of Odisha, how these policies are implemented in practice and what are physicians’ perspective on current rules, its implementation and suggestions for improvement, with an intention to identify ways in which these policies could be reformed for effective implementation.
Development of standardized competency frameworks for public health professionals: Trained public health professionals are prerequisite for optimal health of populations by delivering public health services through a vibrant and efficient public health system. To transform the assigned tasks and functions into desired outcomes, a public health professional is required to possess certain skills or competencies. These required competencies can be defined as observable or measurable performance, skill or knowledge related to a particular domain or discipline of public health. An appropriate standardized curriculum is required to develop/impart these skills to individuals at different levels of public healthcare delivery system. The standardized curriculum should lead to series of courses, with each course focusing on a major competency. Each focal competency has a specific competency expectation that is expressed both in general and specific terms. There are many gaps in the existing public health training in India. These gaps include lack of uniformity in public health education courses and the institutions offering these courses, outdated curricula, lack of accreditation, and lack of well-defined standardized list of public health competencies. Keeping in mind the existing gaps, it was imperative that standardized competency framework be developed for public health professionals at different levels which clarifies and standardize the basic and cross-cutting competencies needed by public health workers, providing a model that can be used, expanded, and further refined by the Medical Colleges, Public Health Institutes and other public health training networks. It is also important that the methods of assessments incorporated in the public health curriculum of various courses match the objectives of the developed competency framework. A National Consultation on Public Health Workforce organized by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India, and WHO Country Office in New Delhi on 24-25 June 2009 recommended the need of a standardized public curriculum and competency framework in India.
Estimation of need and demand of health professionals in India: There is a strong and urgent need to develop trained manpower in adequate numbers to address the deficiency of health professionals in various disciplines of public health such as health systems, health management, hospital management, epidemiology, infectious diseases, chronic diseases, maternal and child health, health governance, etc. PHFI is actively involved in assessing the needs, demand and supply of public health professionals in various domains of public health in both (public and private) healthcare sectors and investigating the imbalances between these three parameters.
Mapping of Public Health Education Institutions and Programs in India: Currently, there is no statutory body or registry at the national level for Public Health Education in India. As such, information about the various public health institutions across the country and the programs each of them offers is limited. The Public Health Foundation of India has undertaken the task of mapping all the institutions across the country that are offering public health education in various domains such as health management, occupational health, epidemiology, biostatistics, etc. This activity began in 2009 and the list of institutions and the programs being offered is being updated regularly.
2.Program Development Initiatives
PHFI collaborates with a range of international agencies to develop programs for education of health professionals and assisting in capacity building of the health workforce.
Development of a Post-Graduate level Monitoring and Evaluation Course for MPH programs – Phase II [MEASURE Evaluation, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, USA Development of a Post-Graduate level Monitoring and Evaluation Course for MPH programs – Phase II [MEASURE Evaluation, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, USA] Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) can provide unique information about the performance of government policies, programs and projects. While monitoring is the on-going assessment of a project, which measure the progress of a program, evaluation is a periodic measurement of the effectiveness of the project in terms of the objectives it aimed to achieve. This M&E capacity is deficient in several developing countries, including India. Masters of Public Health (MPH) programs are being offered in India as well as neighboring countries of Nepal, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh..
As part of this effort, a global review of the institutions offering Masters programs with M&E in their curriculum was undertaken, core competencies included in their teaching were identified, perspective of 10 institutions from South Asia on M&E teaching was obtained in a two-day consultative meeting. During the consultation, it was highlighted that MPH programs offered M&E teaching either as a module (core or optional), or as a track/ concentration. The commonly offered tracks/ concentration in MPH programs include epidemiology, social sciences, health management etc. The first phase of this activity identified the 10 core competencies for a general MPH program. In this current phase, we plan to work on identifying the core competencies that can be a part of an M&E track/ concentration.
Designing Monitoring and Evaluation teaching in MPH Programs across four South Asian countries [Support from MEASURE Evaluation, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, USA]: Monitoring and Evaluation can provide unique information about the performance of government policies, programs and projects. It can identify what works, what does not, and the reasons why. M&E also provides information about the performance of a government, of individual ministries and agencies, of managers and their staff. This capacity is deficient in several developing countries, including India. The need of the hour is to sensitize key stakeholders to the need for, and the benefits from evaluation while building awareness of suitable techniques and approaches. As part of this effort, it is planned to develop a standardized course module on Monitoring and Evaluation for MPH programs, which will be relevant and contextual to the needs of four countries of South Asia (India, Bangladesh, Nepal and Sri Lanka). One of the preliminary activities of the initiative includes a literature search, which is being conducted to understand the existing M&E teachings globally, followed by a collaborative consultation involving 10 institutes across the four countries. The teaching may be as a separate module, as part of a module or a separate track within the MPH program.
Short Course on Management of Reproductive and Child Health Programmes [Funded by WHO]: PHFI has undertaken revision of the training package for capacity building of RCH Programme Managers and piloted four 5-day ToTs (Training of Trainers), of which 2 were in Odisha and one each in Haryana and Rajasthan. These trainings were conducted between November 2013 and February 2014.
Development of curriculum for virtual certificate course on M&E health programs [Support from MEASURE Evaluation, University of North Carolina, USAID]: The program is designed to strengthen the capacity of professionals involved with monitoring and evaluation of health programs in the Asia region and globally. It is intended to respond to the needs detected by several assessments carried out in countries in the Asia region. One of the main problems in the area of M&E is the lack of specialized trained personnel. Currently, most prospective students are requesting a virtual program so they can be trained without leaving their current place of employment. The present economic situation has also made it difficult to secure sponsorship to attend trainings, limiting access for those working in government agencies or local NGOs. The availability of a virtual training program would make M&E training more accessible to those who find face-to-face training programs cost prohibitive.
The objectives of this virtual course are: 1) To deliver a comprehensive course in monitoring and evaluation through innovative techniques of adult E-learning via online e-learning mode, 2) To continuously update the knowledge of participants past, present and future in monitoring and evaluation through an easily assessable knowledge repository and 3) To build a network of experts.
The course is envisaged to be 1 ½ to 3 months in duration and will contain asynchronous and synchronous components, including two interactive live sessions with experts. With synchronous communication, all participants are online simultaneously and read and respond to one another immediately. With asynchronous communication, participants need not be online simultaneously and can read and respond at different times. This combined approach is intended to offer a wide set of educational options that allow optimal knowledge sharing and communication.
Building interdisciplinary leadership skills among health professionals in the 21st century: an innovative training model [Technical support - Global Forum on Innovation in Health Professional Education]: Inspired by the Lancet Commission Report and the Future of Nursing Report, Inspired by these reports, the Institute of Medicine announced the establishment of the ‘IOM Global Forum on Innovation in Health Professional Education and Affiliated Innovation Collaboratives’. The mission of the forum is to apply an ongoing, multi-national, interprofessional approach to illuminate promising innovations for achieving reforms in the institutional spheres. In parallel, it aimed to identify four university-based Innovation Collaboratives (ICs) for affiliation to the forum, one of which is in India. PHFI is partnering with Symbiosis College of Nursing, Pune and Datta Meghe Insitute of Medical Sciences, Sawangi to undertake a two year program of innovative curricular and institutional development, specifically responding to one of the recommendations in the reports. The objectives of the IC would be to identify interdisciplinary health care leadership competencies relevant to the medical, nursing and public health professional education in India and to conceptualize and pilot an interprofessional training model to develop physician, nursing and public health leadership skills relevant for the 21st century health system in India.
Develop, adapt and field test capacity building package for RCH Program Managers [Support from WHO-India]: The World Health Organization has developed three global packages on program management related to maternal, child and adolescent health. The current project aims to develop a comprehensive reproductive child health program management package relevant to the Indian context. It will be a short course to enhance the capacity of program managers currently deployed at regional, state and block level program management units in the public health delivery system in India. The methods adopted for developing this package will include adaptation and integration of material from the three WHO packages, as well as the addition of new material relevant to program management. The development of the package will be done by a consultative process, taking the opinions of key experts in the field. Once the package is ready, it will be field tested by conducting a training program using the modules developed for this course. The modular package also will be used for developing a self-learning interactive DVD at a later stage.
Defining the human resource needs for providing quality maternal, newborn and child health services across such a large and diversely populated country like India is truly challenging. The effective response to significant challenges and increased requirements of evidence based effectiveness of public health projects on MCH is putting pressure on existing MCH program managers to acquire new advanced academic training and information. A comprehensive package with focus on the public health system in India is lacking. The development of this course, funded by UNICEF, will provide an opportunity for medical as well as non-medical graduates to enhance their skills in program management. This is going to be beneficial particularly for those who have work and family commitments, lack access to higher education and have financial constraints to enrol in full time courses. The course will expose the students to theories and concepts in program management tailored to maternal and child health issues. It will create a foundation for working successfully in the public health system.
Development of Post graduate Diploma in Health Promotion with specialization in Tobacco Control [Support from BMGF]: The Public Health Foundation of India (PHFI) is commencing this one-year Post-Graduate Diploma in Health Promotion with an applied focus on Tobacco Control in e-learning mode through e-learning under Project STEPS (Strengthening of Tobacco Control Efforts through innovative Partnerships and Strategies). This diploma program is specially designed for working health professionals with an aim to develop their health promotion and tobacco control skills, which in turn could be integrated into their professional practices. The online training schedule of the program will allow professionals to study at their own pace, before or after working hours according to their convenience.
Intensive Professional Program in Sexually Transmitted Infections and HIV [PSLP grant from AUSAID through the University of Sydney]: A joint proposal by Sexually Transmitted Infections Research Centre (STIRC), University of Sydney and Indian Institute of Public Health Delhi (IIPH-D)/ Public Health Foundation of India (PHFI) was submitted to AusAID under the Public Sector Linkages Program (PSLP) grant. The objective of the joint proposal is to develop an Intensive Professional Program in Sexually Transmitted Infections (STI) and HIV in India. The specific objective is to build local capacity to strengthen human resources in the field of STIs and HIV and extend and strengthen India's response to STIs and HIV. The program commenced in January 2011 and concludes in February 2014. Formative national consultation meeting with STI/ HIV and health systems experts has been held to design the program. The program is being developed by faculty of University of Sydney and IIPH-D/ PHFI.
Leadership development in Public Health Policy – building the capacity of South Asian Policy Makers: Public health professionals have always been the backbone for the delivery of cost-effective and quality health care to the communities. Since the past decade, leadership development of public health professionals has been a major concern in the South East Asian Region. Leadership development programs in public health have always been an important part of the framework of improving the public health infrastructure. With this viewpoint, the Nossal Institute of Global Health (NIGH), the South Asian University (SAU), and PHFI came together with the objective of building capacity to develop and implement a leadership course for public health policy makers in the South Asian region. The specific aims of the initiative are to build the capacity of the SAU to develop and deliver “Public Health Leadership” courses, to build leadership capacity of key public health policy makers in eight countries and to establish a regional network of public health policy makers. To move the agenda of this initiative forward, a consultation was held in March 2012 in New Delhi
Developing case studies of innovations in Public Health for competency strengthening and advocacy: This project involves documenting case studies on innovative solutions on maternal health. Both written and audio-visual case studies have been developed especially for use in teaching and training. The themes address the broad management aspects like infrastructure, monitoring and evaluation, advocacy, social accountability etc. Each of these is a 5-10 minutes long film. The project is funded by MacArthur Foundation and will end in Dec 2012. The key objective of the grant was to develop case studies to improve teaching and initiate discussions to stimulate thinking on management principles.
Development of Post graduate Diploma in Public Health Nutrition [Support from WHO-India]: This course aims to provide comprehensive training in public health nutrition in a global setting with the choice of specializing in a number of topics and in a range of contexts. It provides an integrated program covering dietary, epidemiological, public health, social and biological aspects of nutritional science. This area of study is particularly suitable for people whose employment overlaps the nutritional area; such as health workers, medical practitioners, dieticians, pharmacists, nurses, health educators and teachers, and those who wish to avail themselves of contemporary ideas in human nutrition.
Developing a Training Curriculum and Program on Food Safety and Standards: : IIPH Hyderabad has been invited by the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India to develop a national Food Safety Training Programme and Curriculum. The training programme is intended for food regulators as well as food handlers.
E-learning Epidemiology program for National Health System Resource Centre (NHSRC) under Integrated Disease Surveillance Program (IDSP): The overall purpose of this program is to develop 5 modules on epidemiology for E-learning under IDSP for National Health System Resource Centre. This program is designed on E-learning principles with opportunities for students to engage in offline learning (through CDs) blended with contact training sessions. The modules have been designed in ways to facilitate student learning during training as well as during follow-up. Core competencies are inculcated through self-learning methods and also on-the-job training through the E-learning mode. The course pedagogy is flexible and the design allows scope for mentorship of individuals and participant assessment and evaluation at the end of each module as well as at the end of the complete course. The course material is developed in the form of interactive CDs. The funding support for this initiative is through NHSRC. The technical material for the course is ready and is currently under review by NHSRC for IT designing and delivery.
Development of e-learning modules for PGDPHM [MoHFW, Government of India]: TThe Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Govt. of India awarded a grant to develop 40 e-learning modules spanning a range of issues of public health importance. These modules were targeted at the PGDPHM students and were prepared with the help of eminent public health experts, public health practitioners and national policy makers. This resource is a onetime investment for the partner institutes of the PGDPHM Program and the developed lectures/sessions are being used for the subsequent batches across all institutes.
PHFI undertook an extensive evaluation of its flagship Post Graduate Diploma in Public Health Management programme. This activity was supported by Wellcome Trust.
Evaluation of PGDPHM Program [Support from Wellcome Trust]: The PGDPHM program has been operational since 2008. The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Govt. of India, have invested huge sums of money into the education and capacity building of in-service public health professionals. More than 380 students have graduated the course. Through a Wellcome Trust grant, a team of researchers at PHFI have assessed the contribution of these course graduates to the public health system in terms of their knowledge, skills and practices after completing the PGDPHM course.
4.Capacity Building Initiatives
There have been several capacity building initiatives undertaken by PHFI over the years in the field of education of health professionals. These are briefly described as follows:
Fund for Improvement of S and T infrastructure (FIST) [Department of Science and Technology, Govt. of India]: A proposal submitted by IIPH Delhi and Hyderabad was identified for support in Level – 1 category by the DST based on the recommendations of the FIST Advisory Board. As part of this agreement, equipment to be utilized for various research pruposes (softwares, medical equipment, etc.), infrastructure facilities such as books, journal subscriptions, networking and computational facilities, and maintenance of equipment are to be supported financially by the DST for 5 years starting from 2014.
Short Intensive Professional Program in HIV [ALAF grant through the University of Sydney]:/ PHFI jointly won the “Australian Leadership Awards Fellowship (ALAF)” grant with the University of Sydney, which trains several Indian public health professionals in HIV and STI at the University of Sydney. Two rounds of the grant have already been completed. In the first round (2010), 10 candidates attended the course. Of these, 4 students were from PHFI and its institutes while 6 were from partner institutes. In the second round (2011), out of 9 total candidates who attended the course, 6 were from PHFI institutes while 3 were from partner institutes. A joint proposal by Sexually Transmitted Infections Research Centre (STIRC), University of Sydney (UoS) and Public Health Foundation of India (PHFI) was submitted to AusAID under the Australian Leadership Awards Fellowship (ALAF) Program in December 2011. The proposal had a successful outcome in April 2012 for the third round. Under the ALAF program, 8 candidates from India are selected through a transparent mechanism to attend a certificate course in STI and HIV at STIRC, UoS. The candidates are from PHFI (including IIPHs) and from partner institutions. The certificate course titled “Short Intensive Professional Programme in HIV” aims to build the capacities of participants in the prevention and treatment of HIV and develop understanding of HIV epidemiology at the global level. The three-month course runs during late Aug to Nov 2012 at STIRC, University of Sydney.
Teaching the Teacher to Teach (T5 program): Health and science leaders in India are building a new infrastructure to improve public health in the country, including the creation of new schools of public health. This formidable undertaking is being advanced by an array of public, private, academic and governmental organizations including the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) and the Public Health Foundation of India (PHFI). The Global Health Initiative at Boston University (GHI) and the Boston University School of Public Health (BUSPH) have been closely involved with ICMR and PHFI in moving these efforts forward, and they in turn have identified BU as a key partner and bridge between their separate efforts. In collaboration with these Indian partners, GHI and BUSPH have created a new and innovative "Teach the Teacher to Teach" (T5) pilot program aimed specifically at faculty development for the new Indian schools of public health. This program launched on May 27, 2008 when 19 current and prospective Indian faculty members began an intensive, three-week course designed to introduce them to the methodology, skills, and technology of public health curriculum design and delivery, and to the leadership skills essential for effecting systemic change in public health practice in India. An important goal of the T5 program is to establish a robust and sustainable network of mutually supportive BU and Indian public health educators and researchers who can share insights with and learn from one another in ongoing dialog and idea exchange.
Fogarty International Clinical Research Training Site at PHFI:PHFI’s Centre of Excellence in Prevention and Control of Cardio Metabolic Diseases (CMD) in South Asia for applied research and training’ – CARRS has been accredited as an International Clinical Research Training Site by the Fogarty International. This grant was awarded through a funding by Emory University and Vanderbilt University – National Institutes of Health. The centre has trained 1 Fogarty Fellow and 6 Fogarty Scholars so far. Currently 1 Fogarty Fellow and 2 Fogarty Scholars are undergoing training. The trainees have made 12 publications and 3 grant application during their tenure.
Reaching everyone-strengthening public health education [PSLP grant from AUSAID through the University of Melbourne]: The activity, funded and supported by the PSLP grant from AUSAID through the Nossal Institute for Global Health, University of Melbourne, was aimed at addressing the recognized need within India to strengthen basic health service delivery. The PSLP grant established linkages between PHFI and Nossal Institute for Global Health and contributed to development of PHFI faculty skills and strengthening the delivery of public health teaching at these institutes. The objective of the activity was to learn how teaching and learning public health education in India can be enhanced. The activity was designed to 1) strengthen the competencies of those designing public health curricula, and 2) establish systems for sustainable institutional strengthening to scale up quality public education. The anticipated outcome was improved public sector effectiveness for development of processes and institutional structures towards systems strengthening at the institutional level, delivery and teaching and student assessments and the strengthening of key institutions to implement reform through teaching skills and techniques. This activity was complemented by a National Consultation on MPH Program Development in India. The activity will achieve this outcome by supporting a system to ensure the educational integrity of public health programs offered by the PHFI by developing resources on quality teaching methods, regular review of teaching outcomes and support for quality improvements.
Direct Financial Cooperation – Public Health Workforce capacity enhancement in the country: PHFI entered into an agreement with the World Health Organization in 2009 for direct financial cooperation between WHO and local or national government officials for health care activities. As part of this agreement, WHO provided partial support for 4 post-graduate diploma programs conducted by PHFI for the academic session 2009-10.
Wellcome Trust Capacity Strengthening Strategic Award: In 2009, PHFI, along with a consortium of 14 UK Universities, was awarded a Wellcome Trust capacity building grant for faculty development. The partnership has since expanded to 16 UK universities. This ambitious program aims to develop the teaching and research skills of PHFI's faculty members by financially supporting graduate and doctoral studies, collaborative research projects and research fellowships, and faculty exchanges between PHFI and UK. The key activities include identifying technical areas at PHFI that would benefit most from capacity building of PHFI faculty members through Masters, PhD/ DrPH training, research grants, research fellowships and short courses.
As part of the Phase 1 grant, through the launch of its Future Faculty Program (FFP), 11 PHFI members have completed their Masters. 16 students are pursuing their PhDs/DrPHs and are in various stages of their study under this strategic award; 7 other candidates are to be placed in 2013 and 4 more candidates are to be selected for PhD in 2014. 10 India-based and 5 UK-based research fellowships have been awarded so far. A total of 15 research grants have also been awarded to various PHFI faculty members. These are based at PHFI/IIPHs in collaboration with UK partner institutions and are aimed at capacity building in public health research at PHFI/IIPHs. Also, 8 short-term training courses have been conducted in collaboration with UK faculty and 6 more are under preparation. These are aimed at capacity building of the faculties and other technical staff at PHFI.
The initial capacity‐building award from the Wellcome Trust to PHFI was instrumental in training faculty and establishing graduate training programmes at the regional IIPHs. PHFI has received a further two-year extension of the WTP Phase-1 grant with the aim of continuing training returning faculty (as part of Future Faculty PhD programme) and new recruits to attain positions of research leadership and transform public health capacity in India through teaching, training and policymaking. The activities will leverage the skills and resources of the UK consortium and strengthen intra-and inter-country research, education and practice links. PHFI will train researchers and build institutional environments that enable research leaders to compete for career awards from major national and international donors in the next three to four years. Postdoctoral career development will be accomplished under this strategic award using skills training, mentored research and enhanced research environment. PHFI proposes to advance junior researchers’ capacity and promote research through a combination of training programmes, mentorships and fellowships for field-based research and data collection and interpretation.
PHFI, through some of its initiatives/research projects, endeavours to assist State Governments technically in fortifying the public health workforce. Projects through which PHFI provides technical assistance are:
Technical assistance to the State Institute of Health Management and Communication (SIHMC) Gwalior for program development: The commencement of the PGDPHM program at State Institute of Health Management and Communications (SIHMC), Gwalior in 2010-11 was a capacity building initiative supported by Govt. of Madhya Pradesh (GoMP). The GoMP had expressed a felt-need to develop a sustainable, robust and dynamic public health cadre that is adequately equipped to address the state’s public health challenges. Aimed at improvising the efficiency of in-service health personnel for better health care delivery by empowering them with managerial know-hows, the GoMP initiated an agreement with PHFI in 2010 to launch the PGDPHM program at SIHMC in Gwalior, wherein PHFI would provide technical assistance to the institute through the PGDPHM program. SIHMC is an apex training and research institute for health personnel in Madhya Pradesh. The activities at SIHMC, Gwalior, fit into the state’s long-term plans to overcome the shortage in managerial skills. The institute offers a variety of opportunities for skill development of public health professionals, and there is a visible investment in infrastructure and personnel by the state government. The GoMP also endeavours to facilitate the initiative to establish a public health cadre in the state thereby creating a favourable environment for future enrollment into public health courses. Inspired by the success of GoMP’s efforts, other states such as Bihar, Chattisgarh and Jharkhand have also expressed keen interest in this enterprise.
National Initiatives for Allied Health Services: Healthcare delivery is through an interdisciplinary team of personnel including doctors and nurses and the Allied Health cadre. There is an increasing role of technology in the healthcare sector which has further increased the importance of the Allied Health Personnel. There have been attempts by the Government to bring forth a regulatory framework for Allied health profession in the past one decade. It was decided to establish National and Regional Institutes for Allied Health Sciences education with state-of-the-art facilities offering different types of courses as an intermediary approach to make a good start. The envisaged primary roles of the NIAHS among many would be to undertake deliberation and excellent quality research in the field of curriculum development and laying down standards for education of allied healthcare professionals and to be the central affiliating body, a centre of excellence, in the field of Allied Healthcare education. The national and the regional centres would be autonomous institutes mandated to give certification for all allied health courses from the level of certificate courses, diploma, degree to doctoral levels.
The NIAHS will function as an apex technical institute for allied health sciences, funded by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare for promotion of allied health services in the country through education, training, research, evaluation, consultancy and specialized services. It will also be the affiliating institution for the Regional Initiatives and will be the secretariat for the National Board for Allied Health.