When the Narendra Modi government first came to power in 2014, a promise to create one crore jobs every year was made. Fast forward to 2020, when the government has entered its second term in office, India’s unemployment rate stands at 8.5 percent. This data released by the Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy (CMIE) has posited that the job crisis in India is worse than anticipated. Naturally, the government needs to tap the potential of unexplored industries if it is to generate quality employment for the country’s workforce.
Healthcare and medical services: A pool of job opportunities
For a few years now, India has made little progress on using the country’s demographic advantage to its potential. The service sector needs many million knowledge workers, but the lack of employability is widely prevalent. Much of the problem can be attributed to the nature of the country’s economy. Over 75 percent of the working class is employed by the unorganized sector and engages in agriculture, construction, and the likes.
Across the country, sectors such as real estate, automobiles, banking, agriculture, and others, which are significant contributors towards India’s GDP, are facing a slowdown. One way for the government to tackle the unemployment crisis is by identifying sectors that have the potential to generate employment. There is an urgent need to recognize new opportunities and prepare the supply side. There are clear indications that the healthcare sector is going to play a significant role in stimulating the economy and contribute to employment generation. Over 40 million new jobs are expected to be generated by 2020, as per a report titled 'India's New Opportunities-2020.'
The growth of emergency medical services in India
The emergency medical services (EMS) sector has grown exponentially, penetrating the length and breadth of the country through effective private-public partnerships. Following the example of its Western counterparts, EMS in India has positioned itself as an integral part of the healthcare system. In India, the sector has witnessed the public as well as private participation with the potential to employ tens of thousands of citizens. The need for the formalization of the EMS sector in India has also become the need of the hour, taking into consideration the current state of healthcare in the country. As EMS gains prominence in India, there is a heightened need for skilled EMT, support staff, drivers, helpers, and CDC as well.
Education qualifications required to join this sector
Apart from having people’s skills, the paramedics and Emergency Medical Technicians are hired based on their requisite qualifications such as:
- Bachelor of Pharmacy
- Diploma in Pharmacy
- Bachelor of Physiotherapy
- Bachelor of Science (Nursing)
- General Nursing
- Midwifery (GNM)
- Bachelor of Ayurvedic Medicine and Surgery (BAMS)
- Bachelor of Homeopathic Medical and Surgery (BHMS)
- Bachelor in Life Sciences
These courses have helped in streamlining a career path for graduates in the field of EMS.
EMS: A bright future
With over 70 percent of the country’s population living in rural areas, there is a lack of access to basic medical facilities. Low quality of healthcare, limited access to hospitals and medical centres, and community participation are just some of the problems. Education and skill development in these academic domains will help build the right profile to work in the EMS sector. Additionally, sanitation and child malnutrition, too, have plagued the Indian healthcare industry. With more people working in the EMS sector, even remote corners of the country would get access to quality healthcare. Taking stock of this, increased penetration of EMS, especially in rural India, can prove to be the right step in providing quality healthcare to Indians and creating jobs.
Going by the employment potential, and the long-term benefits of a formalized EMS sector, if the government accords the due recognition and policy support, the industry can soon rise to become a major employer and contributor to the country’s GDP. However, the government needs to act quickly to focus on providing the right skills, connecting the supply and demand of skilled personnel, and facilitating the establishment of quality training. The sector has immense untapped potential, and building on the same would be beneficial for all the stakeholder, the public, and the economy.