National Medical Laboratory Professional Week (NMLPW)

National Medical Laboratory Professionals’ Week (NMLPW)

(NMLPW) is an initiative of Indian Confederation of Medical Laboratory Sciences (ICMLS) which is an umbrella organization of more than 25 Indian medical lab science associations in India. The Government of India has completely revamped the cadre strucrure of Medical Laboratory Professional in India on 17th July ,2015 by revising its qualification, designation and carrer pathway etc. therefore consideirng it a landmark date for MLS professions in the Country, the NMLPW is organised from 17th-23rd July, every year. First time, it was started in year 2016 which has now been established as an annual event of medical laboratory professionals to celebrate their professionalism and be recognized for their valuable services in healthcare. During a short span of time the NMLPW has set many milestones nationwide in various professional & social activities like Blood Donation, Organ Donation, Eye Donation and Tree plantation campaign etc.

However, primary objective of NMLPW is to commemorate wonder ful journey of medical lab sciences, share scientific developments & to celebrate professionalism for empowering health care ser vices. Never theless, it is also an opportunity for lab professionals to aware the general public about the role of medical laboratory sciences and the impact of having these dedicated professionals on the overall patient care.

Indian Confederation of Medical Laboratory Sciences- ICMLS is a national registered Confederation of more than 50 thousand medical laboratory technologists and scientists working under various government and private health care establishments across the Country. ICMLS is also an af filiate of International Federation of Biomedical Laboratory Sciences (IFBLS) and Asian Association of Medical Laborator y Scientists (AAMLS)

Unseen Role of Medical Laboratory Professionals : - the Medical Lab Professional play a vital role in every aspect of health care like clinical laboratory practices, teaching/training and research activities. They often work behind the scenes, few people know much about their critical role in modern health care system but they are truly defining the importance of healthcare profession.

Key Issues of Medical Laboratory Profession It is pertinent to mention that the Medical Laboratory Sciences have made significant strides and contribution during the last few decades to the amazing development of medical sciences. Considering the importance of it, several small and big countries have set up a systematic structure for medical laboratory profession &  professionals.

It is, however, regrettable, that in India, no such thing exists even after 70 years of Independence. Ther e is no mechanism to regulate the professional education and practices of medical lab profession and neither the state governments nor the Centre have shown seriousness to tackle this situation. In absence of any regulatory legal mechanism to oversee the educational and professional standards, educational institutions have been mushrooming unabatedly across the country, only to earn profit that lack even basic requirement for such education. Not only that, Medical Technology staf f, whether in the government sector or in private sector face a plethora of problems since there is no law to address their problems. For example, despite their recognized professional qualification they do not have licenses to work on their own profession, they do not have recognized positions in the hierarchy for identical scope of practices, there are no proper and uniform Rules for, recruitment, ser vice conditions, salaries and allowances etc.

Previous Policy Initiatives of Central Government and ICMLS Viewpoint- The Central government has been insensitive and indifferent to the plight of the medical laboratory professionals; with the result the first attempt to form central regulatory framework was not succeeded as Central ParaMedical Councils Bill-2007 failed to see the light of the day. Then, the central Government came out with the proposal to set up a common national health regulatory body, NCHRH, incorporating the Central Paramedical Councils Bill -2007. After three years of discussions and debates the NCHRH was consigned to dustbin when the parliamentary standing committee turned it down At this juncture the decades old demands raised by allied health professionals are still crying to be met. Then, the Health Ministry came out with the proposal to set up National Board for Allied Health Sciences which also could not get the cabinet approval as some health bodies lobbied against it putting forward certain demands. Despite the experiences of multiple failures, the Health Ministry did not find it necessary to consider issue r e a s o n a b l y. A g a i n i n 2 0 1 5 , t h e C e n t r a l Government has come out with a poor and an unrealistic draft- Allied Health professionals Bill hereby repeating its past mistakes. Comments were also sought by the Ministry of Health & FW, Govt. of India from the stakeholders on the proposed Bill in 2015. The ICMLS showed its disappointment as it could not be transformed in to a reality till date. ICMLS criticized the fickle attitude of the health ministr y on such an important national issue. ICMLS expressed the view that since there is no registration system in place, in absence of a central council it is not possible to know the actual number of allied health professionals including medical laboratory professionals, Not only that, it is not possible in present system to have the correct picture of numbers, needs and shor tfall of the professionals.

In the past too, ICMLS car ried on various programmes, to emphasize the need to create a mechanism for medical lab  professionals. It is a matter of regret that the government assurances on these issues remain still unfulfilled. Furthermore, recently on the pretext of Clinical Establishment Act- 2010 and without any comprehensive view point, Ministry has notified Clinical  establishment (Central Government) Amendment Rules-2018 for clinical laboratories which are neither feasible on practical ground nor tenable on legal ground. In absence of proper law, this issue has created a tur f war among various health professionals across the Country over signing authority. Therefore besides fun and celebrations, it is also right time for deliberating these important issues. With this comprehensive view, many social, Scientific, Cultural, and awareness programmes like Scientific CMEs,Seminars, meetings, Symposium, Blood Donation Camp, Eye Donation awareness Camp, Organ donation awareness camp, screening camp for various diseases and also fun & sports activities are proposed to be organised during the said Week in all major government and private health establishments across the Country. ICMLS also invites all health care professionals to be part of this wonder ful initiative to highlight the all above mentioned professional challenges and issues to attract the attention of Central and State Governments.

ICMLS invites all me d i c a l l a b o r a t o r y p r o f e s s i o n a l s ’ associations and laboratory professionals to come forward for joining NMLPW-2019 celebrations-

• Share scientific & professional developments of MLS by organising scientific CME programmes, seminars & activities.

• C e l e b r a t e y o u r p e r s o n a l & professional achievements among your colleagues.

• Plan for future professional goals and objectives for the augmentation of m e d i c a l l a b p r o f e s s i o n a n d professionals.

• Highlight your key issues for overall quality improvement of medical lab science education and practices.

• Meet your professional colleagues and other health care professionals for coordinated developments of health care services and

   to build up an aware, vibrant medical lab fraternity.

                                                                   Wishing you all a wonderful NMLPW-2019