Year : 2011 | Volume
: 15 | Issue : 2 | Page : 51-
Occupational health practice: Need of the hour - training and accreditation
Associate Editor, IJOEM, General Manager -Health Management, Siemens Ltd., Dept. KW/MOH Kalwa Works, Thane-Belapur Road, Thane - 400 601, India
Siemens Ltd., Dept. KW/MOH Kalwa Works, Thane-Belapur Road, Thane - 400 601
|How to cite this article:|
Priolcar X. Occupational health practice: Need of the hour - training and accreditation.Indian J Occup Environ Med 2011;15:51-51
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Priolcar X. Occupational health practice: Need of the hour - training and accreditation. Indian J Occup Environ Med [serial online] 2011 [cited 2020 Aug 10 ];15:51-51
Available from: http://www.ijoem.com/text.asp?2011/15/2/51/90373
Today India is a valued member of G-20 being a key growing economy. Indian industry is on the threshold of exponential growth. This business environment has significant implications to the health and safety of the working population in India. Consequently, there is a growing need for qualified resources in the field of Occupational Health in India.
If we look at current facilities for providing appropriate training to qualify as an Occupational Health Physician, the commonly conducted 3-month certificate course, Associate Fellow of Industrial Health (AFIH), comes to mind. This course is accredited by Directorate General, Factory Advice Service, and Labor Institutes (DGFASLI) and conducted annually between December and February at various centers in India. There are other courses of longer duration offered by other Institutes but less preferred because of their longer duration and less known to the regulatory authorities.
Let us look at the AFIH course which is pursued by most of the recently trained Occupational Health Physicians and most widely offered at various centers in India. This course should be open to fresh medical graduates which shall help in capacity building in a big way. There is also need to improve the training content of the course. We also propose that an optional choice to appear for Diploma examination can be added to those who complete 2 years of industrial working experience post-AFIH certification. The residency posts could be financially supported by the Corporate. Currently, scholarships are sparingly available for pursuing any formal education in Occupational Health which needs to be augmented by Corporate and Government.
The Singapore Government supported the need to train medical graduates in hospital management in 1995 for the need 10 years later and one could see it as realty today and hence there is need for proactive support from the Government for capacity building in Occupational Health.
India has a long way to catch up with Singapore, but there is a need to think out of the box to meet the increasing demand of Occupational Health Physicians who should be not only qualified but also have higher capability as well as passion to pursue the specialty of Occupational Health.
Here organizations like the Indian Association of Occupational Health can play a pivotal role by designing and delivering training programs with eligibility criteria which would attract top talent, influencing the authorities to make appropriate changes in the legislation to support training, qualification and accreditation of Occupational Health Physicians, collaboration with Faculty of Occupational Medicine UK to run the joint courses in India and to restart the DNB certification in Occupational Health
This would also provide a steady supply of talent of high quality medical graduates who could be enrolled to take up postgraduation in the field of Occupational Health.
There is also a need for continuing medical education (CME) in the specialty of Occupational Medicine similar to the of CME points requirement for the renewal of registration with State Medical Council.
There is a need for the Ministry of Labor, the Ministry of Health, and the HRD Ministry to design an integrated approach with the support of NGOs like the Indian Association of Occupational Health for a humble beginning to meet the current and future manpower needs in the field of Occupational Health which can be benchmarked with any international qualification in Occupational Medicine.