NMC Makes ABHA ID Mandatory for Patient Registration in Medical Colleges

The National Medical Commission (NMC) has emphasized on ABHA ID registration as a pre-requisite for patients seeking care at medical college hospitals. A public notice to this effect was issued on June 4, 2024.

It may be recalled that the NMC had previously urged all medical colleges to provide the necessary infrastructure within their hospitals to facilitate the generation of ABHA IDs for patients seeking assistance. This initiative was put forth by a circular dated November 23, 2024.

The NMC has stressed that ABHA ID registration is crucial for NMC’s decision on the prospects of a college and its assessment for the academic year 2025-26 onwards. In other words, assessment of the medical college for the academic year of 2025-26 and onwards will be based strictly on patients and related clinical material authenticated with ABHA ID.

What is ABHA ID?

ABHA (Ayushman Bharat Health Account) ID is a national digital health ID card that allows individuals to electronically access and manage their medical records. ABHA number is a unique 14 digit number that identifies an individual as a participant in India’s digital healthcare ecosystem. ABHA number will be accepted by healthcare providers across the country.

It enables a patient’s interaction with participating healthcare providers, and allows the patient to receive his digital lab reports, prescriptions and diagnosis seamlessly from verified healthcare professionals and health service providers

All patients visiting medical college hospitals for OPD (Outpatient Department), IPD (Inpatient Department), or emergency services will now need to be registered using their ABHA ID. This registration will be in addition to the hospital’s registration number.

Importance of ABHA ID

The NMC emphasizes the importance of ABHA IDs for:

  • Patient Authentication: Verifying patient identities for improved healthcare delivery.
  • Clinical Material Authentication: Authenticating clinical data used in college assessments for decisions regarding:
    • Increasing undergraduate or postgraduate medical seats
    • Establishing new medical colleges
    • Annual renewal of permission/recognition for admitting students

The NMC clarifies that no patient will be denied treatment due to lack of an ABHA ID. An individual’s participation in Ayushman Bharat Digital Mission (ABDM) is voluntary and he’s creation of an ABHA is at his own free will.