Challenges in Creating a Unified Health Record System in India: A Focus on ”ABHA”
This policy brief discusses the needs, challenges and possible solutions to an effective Ayushman Bharat Health Account (ABHA) creation in India. The process of implementing ABHA across all states poses several challenges including engaging private players and state governments, managing interoperability issues and addressing technological issues.
Raising awareness among citizens of the benefits to easy access to healthcare through the ABHA system could be an effective solution to tackle the aforementioned challenges. One way to increase ABHA registrations would be to focus on schools and primary health units. Moreover, the integration of various health related schemes with ABHA and providing the right incentives to private players could accelerate the journey towards digitising the national healthcare system in the country.
Shalu Sapnani is a passionate development professional with a strong engineering background from NIT Allahabad. With over four years of experience working with PRADAN NGO, she has dedicated herself to improving the lives of tribal women in Madhya Pradesh. She strongly believes in the effectiveness of public policy solutions that are informed and guided by data.
What is ABHA?
This policy brief talks about the Ayushman Bharat Health Account (ABHA number), its conceptualization, creation, and the potential challenges in its implementation in India. ABHA is one of the key interventions in India’s healthcare journey under the Ayushman Bharat Digital Mission (ABDM) of making India “Atmanirbhar”. The critical path to any digital transformation is not just about technology but its people.
What are the issues affecting the effective creation of ABHA?
Here are the issues affecting the effective creation of ABHA –
- Digitalization of the health sector is not a populist vote-appealing approach.
- Ecosystem in the private sector
- Technology Barriers
What are the measures taken to increase awareness and integration regarding the benefits of ABHA?
Most people prefer going to small local clinics for treatment. To let more people know about the advantages of ABHA, we can use ads, info materials, and posters. Once people understand ABHA’s benefits, we can start a big campaign to make sure everyone has their own health account. To help small clinics use ABHA, we can make a simpler app called “ABHA Lite.” This app can be used on a tablet to create patient accounts. Clinics can handle data without needing lots of technology. But there might be some risks like data leaks. The Digital Personal Data Protection Bill 2022 will likely make rules to deal with this risk.