The Senior Governor for India and the newest Indian representative to the Council have joined together to help forward the development of respiratory care education and patient care in the diverse country of India. There has been tremendous effort through the last 25 years in India to enhance and standardize the training and education of RTs throughout the country, and renewed efforts at cooperation are beginning to show results. First and foremost, there is a recognized need for Respiratory Therapists; and this, coupled with the development of formalized RT education programs in many areas of the country, is revealing a steady progress in developing RT as an independent paramedical discipline. Gradually, but certainly the need for RTs is being recognized by pulmonologists, anesthesiologists and intensivists and other medical specialists.
Not only has the Indian Association for Respiratory Care been formed, but in addition, a scientific journal has been established and there are a number of identified, formal RT Educational Programs working to standardize the RT curriculum. One of the leaders in this effort has been Manipal University which established its BSRT Program in 1995. The 2015 AARC Fellow from Manipal University, Ramesh Unnikrishnan, RRT reports: “the RC Week Celebrations have happened religiously for the last decade and the Celebrations for 2015 took place from 25th October to 30th October. The week started off with a Continuing Medical Education on “Basics of Mechanical Ventilation” with the involvement of Department of Anesthesiology which was a full day program.”
There are other formalized RT programs in the southern part of India including; Hyderabad, Chennai, Vellore, Pune and Kochi. In addition, there are a number of hospital based programs in Mumbai, Delhi, Bangalore and Kolkata. There is agreement that much has been accomplished –but the real leadership in India will have to come from the young RTs of India whose stakes are the highest.