Thursday 21 July 2022 8:36 PM UTC
NEW DELHI July 21: The UK government and the Indian government have signed on July 21 a framework agreement to collaborate on healthcare workforce objectives by enhancing bilateral co-operation in capacity building, exchange of ideas and expertise across all areas of healthcare workforce.
The Framework Agreement for Collaboration on Health Care Work Force (“Agreement”) outlines key ambitions of the UK-India partnership on healthcare workforce, in particular around support for recruitment and training of Nurses, Allied Health Professionals, and other categories of healthcare professionals identified by both the Participants.
Through this Agreement and ongoing work together, the Participants will seek to continue to enhance bilateral cooperation in capacity building, exchange of ideas and expertise, across all areas of healthcare workforce.
Areas of cooperation
Each participant shall engage with its relevant regulatory bodies and encourage them to negotiate, within 12 months of entry into force of this Agreement, a system of mutually agreed arrangements for the recognition of the qualifications, licensing and registration procedures for different categories of nursing professionals. This arrangement may include regulators identifying any gaps based on host country requirements and determining mechanisms to resolve these.
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland shall identify opportunities to support improved nurse training in Indian States, with the consent of the relevant States and training institutions through the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India.
Any training or support shall be based on the existing national standards in the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, including the level of English language proficiency required by Professional Regulators, and will be mutually decided upon by both the Governments.
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland shall identify opportunities to develop improved training for nursing specialties. Such opportunities may include mental health, critical care, trauma and emergency care, palliative care, community care, neonatal intensive care, amongst other specialties. The Participants will also identify opportunities to develop enhanced training for midwifery to UK national standards in India.
Allied Health Professionals
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland will work with its relevant training institutions, government departments and agencies and regulators to increase training and recruitment of Allied Health Professionals from India. In the first instance, engagement will focus on the four Allied Health Professions listed below:
i. Occupational Therapy
ii. Dieticians (Nutrition Science)
iii. Radiography (Medical Radiology, Imaging and Therapeutic technology)
iv. Operating Department Practitioners (Trauma, Burn care and Surgical or Anaesthesia related professions)
Following the engagement on the four professions above, the Participants will explore collaboration on other healthcare professional groups, including but not restricted to: Medical Laboratory and Life Sciences, Physiotherapy, Ophthalmic Science professions, Community care, Behavioural health and other similar professions, Medical Technologists and Physician Assistant, and Health Information Management and Health Informatics.
The Participants will facilitate and encourage dialogue and engagement between regulators of Allied and Healthcare professionals, with a view to streamlining registration processes, mapping competencies and skills, and better understanding the regulatory landscape between India and the UK.
Collaboration in bridging the skill gaps and training
Collaboration in bridging the skill gaps and training shall be accomplished through:
Early engagement between the relevant professional bodies and regulators of India and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland with a view to identifying skill gaps in the training systems of India and the UK in these professions;
Developing a plan of action for each profession to bridge any skill or competency gaps in Indian training by way of joint mapping of the job roles;
Exchange of information such as sharing of skill shortage data related to all professional categories related to health services in the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland;
Organising workshops and building partnerships between the training institutions of the United Kingdom and India;
Developing a plan of action to identify initial cohorts of applicants in India and employers in the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, to ensure smooth transition into employment in the National Health Service;
Evaluating this approach in a timely manner, using the learning to explore the potential and scope for recruitment of Nurse Specialists, other Allied Health Professionals, to address the shortage in near future.
Other areas of cooperation
The Participants have decided to develop a process for continued engagement on health care workforce, through the active involvement of the Indian High Commission in the UK. This engagement will entail discussions on matters related to employment with the Department of Health and Social Care on regular basis to resolve any concerns about the employment of Indian professionals within the UK’s healthcare system;
The Participants will explore ways to set up joint centres of excellence for training and education programmes with an aim to improve the education, language training and training opportunities in India and the UK;
The Participants will enable signing of the memorandum of association between the institutions of India and UK.
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