Linking CGHS and ABHA IDs will streamline healthcare, promote digital health: Experts – ET HealthWorld


New Delhi: Experts and doctors hail mandatory linkage of CGHS beneficiary IDs with ABHA (Ayushman Bharat Health Account) numbers and termed it as a significant step towards revolutionizing healthcare accessibility and digital health management. This pioneering move has immense potential to reshape the healthcare landscape, offering seamless integration of health care services and get better patient-centered carethey said.

By consolidating digital medical records and facilitating interoperability between platforms, this initiative promises to optimize healthcare services, improve patient identification and raise the level of care across the country, experts said.

Dr Shuchin Bajaj, founder and director of Ujala Cygnus group of hospitals, said linking CGHS beneficiary IDs with ABHA ID has significant implications for healthcare accessibility and digital technology. health management.

“By integrating these IDs, the government aims to streamline healthcare services, improve patient identification and facilitate seamless sharing of digital medical records across platforms,” ​​Dr Bajaj said.

“This move not only fosters a more cohesive and efficient healthcare ecosystem, but also lays the foundation for comprehensive healthcare delivery and monitoring,” he added.

Dr. Bajaj further said that the initiative expands the hospital options of the beneficiaries by integrating various health insurance schemes under the ABHA platform.

This broader network allows CGHS beneficiaries to seek specialized treatments beyond the boundaries of the CGHS network, improving healthcare options and promoting patient autonomy, he added.

Despite its transformative potential, the initiative is not without challenges. Addressing privacy concerns around the electronic exchange of confidential medical data remains paramount.

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“Updating IT infrastructure and training staff to handle ABHA could be an initial burden for hospitals. Apart from that, there are interoperability challenges, which means there is a need to ensure seamless data exchange between different healthcare systems to for ABHA to function effectively,” emphasized Dr. Girdhar Gyani, Founding Director, Healthcare Policy Advisor, Association of Healthcare Providers (AHPI).

Overall, linking CGHS and ABHA beneficiary IDs has the potential to be a positive development for both beneficiaries and hospitals, he said.

“However, addressing privacy concerns, ensuring digital access for all, and offering incentives to hospitals are crucial for a smooth transition and maximizing the benefits of this initiative,” Dr. Gyani said.

Dr Sachin Shah, Director, Neonatal and Pediatric Intensive Care Services, Surya Mother and Child Super Specialty Hospital, Pune, said the directive requiring all CGHS beneficiaries to link their CGHS beneficiary ID with their ABHA ID aims to consolidate various government healthcare programs under Ayushman. Bharat Digital Mission.

“This link will further establish a digital health identity for CGHS beneficiaries, enabling secure storage of their digital health records within the ABDM framework. Additionally, this unification would streamline access to multiple healthcare plans on a single platform “said Dr. Shah.

“In addition, this identification integration is expected to result in an expansion of the network of treatment providers accessible to patients. This translates into a broader spectrum of hospital options available for selection,” he added.

According to the Ministry of Health, the measure aims to create a digital health identification of beneficiaries and store their digital health records.

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Last week, the ministry said the government has no ulterior motive to link Central Government Health Scheme (CGHS) beneficiary IDs with Ayushman Bharat Health Account (ABHA) numbers.

“ABHA is not a sneaky way for the government to track money. In fact, it is not linked to any government monetary or fiscal scheme. It is being implemented in government health programs like Reproductive and Child Health (RCH).”, Diseases non-communicable diseases (NCDs), Nikshay, U-win (universal immunization), E-Sanjeevani (teleconsultation), PMJAY, Poshan (Anganwadi), etc.,” the ministry said in a statement.

“The government has no ulterior motive to hide nor does it need to. ABHA will eventually be applied to all Indian citizens in all health facilities,” he clarified.

The Health Ministry said this initiative will allow CGHS beneficiaries to access their medical records on their mobile phones, thereby saving money spent on repeat tests.

The ministry also extended the deadline for linking ABHA number with CGHS ID by 120 days or four months from June 30, 2024.

He said in an office memo that the kiosks would become operational at all wellness centers by June 30 to help CGHS beneficiaries.

The ministry had earlier said that central government employees must mandatorily link their CGHS beneficiary IDs with ABHA numbers from April 1, 2024.

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  • Updated On Apr 25, 2024 at 04:50 PM IST
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  • Posted on Apr 25, 2024 at 04:46 pm IST
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  • 4 min read
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