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Heal by India initiative: Govt readying exhaustive online registry of Indian healthcare workers

To project India as a global source in the health sector, the Centre is developing an online repository of healthcare professionals, including doctors, nurses and pharmacists, that also mentions the country where they wish to render their services.

The portal, being developed by the National Health Authority (NHA) under the Ayushman Bharat Digital Mission (ABDM) as part of the government’s ‘Heal by India’ initiative, is likely to be launched on August 15, official sources told PTI.

It will be voluntary for all healthcare professionals to provide their information to the portal and all steps are being taken to ensure data security. The personal information provided will be authenticated by UIDAI while registration details will be verified by the respective councils, the sources said.

“The portal will be ready by June 15 after which healthcare professionals will be able to register themselves in it.

“They will have the option to mention their preferred country where they want to work, languages they know, visa, country-specific qualifying exam details besides their usual background information,” an official said.

It will enable a seamless experience for those accessing such information on the portal, the official added.

The healthcare professionals who can register themselves in the portal include practitioners of modern medicine as well as the traditional system of medicine, dentists, nurses, pharmacists and 56 categories of allied health professionals.

The NHA has already started collating data of healthcare professionals in collaboration with various regulatory bodies such National Medical Commission, Dental Council of India, National Commission for Indian System of Medicine, National Commission for Homoeopathy, Indian Nursing Council, Pharmacy Council of India and National Commission for Allied and Healthcare Professions.

A Health Professional Registry for doctors from all systems of medicines and nurses developed by NHA is already in place and so far, 32,059 doctors and 3,527 nurses have registered on it. The data from this registry will also be sourced for the new portal, the official said.

“Once the portal goes live, external stakeholders such as patients and recruiters from India or abroad will be able to search for a required professional based on the speciality or system of medicine, languages known and the country they prefer work in,” the official told PTI.

According to another official, despite recent efforts at standardized quantification, information on India’s diverse health workforce is fragmented and unreliable.

There is currently no comprehensive official source on the health workforce data that cover all categories of related professionals in the country, the official said. Information on only certain categories of professionals is currently maintained. “For instance, doctors have specialised councils at the state and national levels that govern these professionals and therefore maintain data only related to these professionals but not community health workers, the official said.

Moreover, the way these registers, both in terms of digital systems and processes, varies considerably, he said. The official said the portal being developed under ABDM will globally promote the visibility of the Indian healthcare professionals and the services they provide.

It will also act as a bridge between the Indian healthcare professionals and the external stakeholders requiring healthcare services, the official added. PTI

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