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Business News/ News / India/  National register planned to weed out unqualified doctors
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National register planned to weed out unqualified doctors

Near 1 mn quacks are practising medicine, with 600,000 offering allopathic treatments: IMA

The national register—one of three proposed—will have a robust mechanism of verification of healthcare professionals on it. representational/ptiPremium
The national register—one of three proposed—will have a robust mechanism of verification of healthcare professionals on it. representational/pti

NEW DELHI:The government plans to clip the increasing number of quacks -- unqualified medical practitioners -- by opening a healthcare professionals registry (HPR) that will help patients verify their claims.

The national register—one of three proposed—will have a robust mechanism of verification of healthcare professionals on it from all systems of medicines, including nurses and paramedics.

According to the Indian Medical Association, there are around one million quacks practising medicine, with 600,000 offering allopathic treatments and the rest practising traditional systems such as Ayurveda, Sidha, Tibb and Unani.

According to officials involved in the exercise, the processes have been designed to ensure that only professionals approved by authorised statutory bodies are onboarded.

“The Healthcare Professionals Registry shall act as a single source of truth for all healthcare professionals in the ABDM (Ayushman Bharat Digital Mission) ecosystem," CEO of the National Health Authority, Dr R.S. Sharma, said in an interview.

“The healthcare professionals applying for enrolment under HPR are required to submit their registration certificate, degree/diploma and proof of employment (in case of government employees). After submission, this information will be verified by the respective council/governing body under which the healthcare professionals are registered. Subsequent to a successful validation of the information, the account will be activated," Sharma added.

The National Medical Commission (NMC), Dental Council of India (DCI), National Commission for Indian System of Medicine (NCISM) and National Commission for Homeopathy (NCH) are some of the bodies overseeing enrolment along with various state authorities.

The HPR currently has about 15,000 professionals, out of which 15.5% are from the private sector.

The two more registries under ABDM are Ayushman Bharat Health Account (ABHA) for registering beneficiaries (citizens, patients, individuals) and Healthcare Facility Registry (HFR) for authorized healthcare facilities.

“We plan to increase this significantly over the coming few months. Our teams are working on integrations with different medical councils and medical bodies to get more registered practitioners on board," said Sharma.

“We have recently added a nurse module to the HPR wherein nurses providing health services across modern and traditional systems of medicine can also enrol. This is another step to get more verified practitioners on a national platform. We have recently taken up onboarding healthcare professionals in mission mode on HPR. This process has been made very simple and fast. Also, minimal data is being collected."

Doctors and healthcare professionals will derive many benefits from ABDM. HPR will become a one-stop solution for healthcare professionals to store and update their professional qualifications and training-related information, added Sharma.

Dr Girish Tyagi, Registrar at Delhi Medical Council (DMC) said, “Quackery is one of the biggest challenges in the Indian healthcare sector. Although establishing a health professional registry is a good step of the government, the only way to finish quacks is to make doorstep healthcare facilities robust so that poor people stop going to quacks and they can easily avail treatment and medicines at the nearest government hospitals free of cost."

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Published: 30 May 2022, 12:23 AM IST
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