Ayushman Bharat Digital Mission: After tardy start, Karnataka plans full coverage in six months

ABDM aims to digitise healthcare delivery by building an ecosystem that rides on collaboration between the government and the private sector

July 02, 2022 09:46 pm | Updated July 03, 2022 01:04 am IST - Bengaluru

People registering for Ayushman Bharat Health Account (unique health ID) and Ayushman Bharat Arogya Karnataka Health Card at a health camp.

People registering for Ayushman Bharat Health Account (unique health ID) and Ayushman Bharat Arogya Karnataka Health Card at a health camp. | Photo Credit: File Photo

Karnataka, which ranked low at 14th in India in the number of Ayushman Bharat Health Accounts (ABHAs), has set up an ambitious target of creating the unique health identity cards for the entire population in the next six months.

In a fortnight after State Health Commissioner Randeep D. was appointed as the State Mission Director for Ayushman Bharat Digital Mission (ABDM), the number of registered healthcare facilities have shot up from 12 to 202 and the number of registered health professionals has increased from 96 to 124.

With 800 integrators and over 40 digital health service applications integrated into it, the ABDM aims to digitise healthcare delivery by building an ecosystem that rides on collaboration between the government and the private sector. Under the ABDM, every citizen would be provided with a unique health identity. Along with it, a comprehensive registry of all the doctors — from superspecialists to general physicians — will be collated. This will also help in eliminating the problem of quacks, officials said.

A.P., U.P. on top

According to the ABDM dashboard launched by the National Health Authority, of the total 22.81 crore ABHAs created in the country, Andhra Pradesh is the highest contributor with 3.16 crore as of Saturday. With 66.7 lakh ABHAs, Karnataka is in the 14th place. Sources said the poor progress in the State is because of the delay in appointing a Mission Director for the ABDM. Whereas Andhra Pradesh started from September 2021, when the mission was launched.

Karnataka’s ABDM fact sheet
Total Ayushman Bharat Health Accounts (ABHAs) created: 66.7 lakh
Verified facilities on Healthcare Facilities Registry: 202 
Verified professionals on Healthcare Professionals Registry: 124
Highest ABHAs in Bengaluru Urban: 27.8 lakh
Lowest ABHAs in Yadgir: 0.3 lakh
Highest health facilities registered in Chickballapur: 68
Zero registrations of health facilities in 11 districts
Highest health professionals registered in Bengaluru Urban: 48
Zero registrations of professionals in five districts

Of the 1,02,555 verified healthcare facilities registered with the Health Facility Registryin India, Uttar Pradesh has the highest at 26,824. Karnataka is way behind in the 19th position with just 202 verified healthcare facilities. Except for 0.5% of these 202 facilities, all are government institutions.

Of the 23,356 healthcare professionals registered with the Health Professionals Registry in India, again Andhra Pradesh has the highest with 11,538 healthcare professionals on board. Karnataka with 124 registrations is in 14th place. Surprisingly, 89.67% of the registered professionals in Karnataka are from the private sector.

Among districts in Karnataka, while Bengaluru Urban has the highest number of the ABHAs created and verified healthcare professionals at 27.8 lakh and 48, respectively, Chickballapur has the highest number of registered healthcare facilities. Zero registrations have been recorded in 11 districts for healthcare facilities and in five districts for healthcare professionals.

Mr. Randeep said that the plan was to create the ABHAs for the entire population in the State and get all hospitals and healthcare professionals on board within the next six months.

The plan is to involve the Medical Education Department and the Karnataka Medical Council for bringing doctors on board. Healthcare facilities will be registered through the Karnataka Private Medical Establishments Act, when they apply for licence renewal. “All government hospitals up to Community Health Centres level will be mandatorily enrolled. The ABHAs are automatically created for patients, who are being issued the co-branded Ayushman Bharat Arogya Karnataka card. The ABHAs will be generated for other patients with their consent at field-level camps and hospitals,” the ABDM Mission Director explained.

Key challenges

“The key challenges faced by the Health Department include timely alerts on disease burden with geographic distribution, portability of records during referral and accessible and timely diagnosis. We hope to address these issues and prioritise treatment protocols through the ABDM,” he said.

He said an official memorandum regarding nominating District Health Officers and District Family Welfare Officers as the ABDM nodal officers and verifiers, respectively, had been issued. A training of all the ABDM nodal officers and verifiers would be held on July 8.

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