According to a recent study titled ‘From Paramedics to Allied Health Sciences: landscaping the journey and way forward’ undertaken by the Public Health Foundation of India (PHFI), India faces an acute shortage of over 64 lakh skilled human resource in the health sector.
In that regard, the “Phlebotomy Technician Course’’ initiative by the Becton Dickinson and Healthcare Sector Skill Council is expected to provide training on best practices in Phlebotomy to laboratory professionals in order to improve their employability. While the HSSC with support from National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC) has been working with the industry in skilling healthcare professionals in the allied healthcare space, the availability of skilled healthcare professionals is a big challenge.
Training module developed by BD as knowledge partner would be leveraged by candidates enrolled for fresh training as well as RPL (Recognition of prior learning) training for Phlebotomy technician course under ambit of HSSC. Additionally, BD will also train the master trainers who will cascade the training to healthcare professionals and support them in driving best practices in preanalytical processes for accurate and reliable diagnosis.
Speaking on the occasion, Varun Khanna – Managing Director- BD India & South Asia, mentioned, “At a time when the Skill India Movement is looking at bringing about convergence and focusing on industry linkages, this initiative comes as BD’s commitment to enhance the skills of laboratory technicians. It will address the shortage in human resources both in terms of skill and number leading to universal health coverage for all. Through the standardized curriculum in phlebotomy training with HSSC, together we will be able to enhance the clinical practices in creating sustainable improvements in Indian healthcare.”
Phlebotomy (blood collection) is a major component of preanalytical phase. A laboratory test is no better than the specimen and the specimen no better than the manner in which it was collected. For tests to be accurate, quality specimen is needed i.e. a specimen which accurately reflects the in vivo situation of the patient at the time of collection.
Stressing on the need to upgrade skills, Ashish Jain – CEO, Healthcare Sector Skill Council said, “There is immense potential to enhance the skills of laboratory technicians in line with the growing healthcare needs. Keeping in mind the need for phlebotomy by the healthcare sector, HSSC with industry experts has developed the Qualification Pack-National Occupational Standards (QP-NOS) for Phlebotomy technicians that will facilitate plugging the existing skill gap in this area. Today’s agreement is a significant step in this direction.”
Many of the Allied Health Institutes have received an affiliation for different courses from the Health Sector Skills Council (HSSC), which is constituted and supported by National Skills Development Corporation. The aim of the Council is to create a robust and vibrant eco-system for quality vocational education and skill development in Allied Healthcare space in the country.
The shortfall of Phlebotomy skills have resulted in the uneven distribution of all cadres of health workers, medical and nursing colleges and has led to an imbalance both in the capacity and in quality of education and training, leading to poor health outcomes. There is ample international evidence suggesting that empowered allied health professionals (or paramedics, as they are known internationally) can be the leaders of change, playing critical roles in improving the reach of health services in underserved areas.