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Center Implements Digital Doctor Certificates to Combat Quackery

Written by : Jayati Dubey

May 15, 2024

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The COVID-19 pandemic highlighted the challenges of identifying qualified medical professionals during healthcare crises.

In a significant move aimed at addressing the issue of quackery in the healthcare sector, the Center has initiated the issuance of digital doctor certificates to verified healthcare professionals to complement the Know Your Doctor (KYD) service.

Under the newly introduced Know Your Doctor (KYD) service, all verified doctors are required to prominently display these digital doctor certificates at their clinics.

This initiative, part of the Ayushman Bharat Digital Mission (ABDM), aims to bolster the country's digital healthcare infrastructure and ensure the authenticity of medical practitioners.

This service is in line with the KYC service used for financial transactions.

The certificates feature a QR code, similar to the CoWin vaccination certificate, enabling patients to verify the credentials of the healthcare professional.

"These certificates have a QR code, on the lines of the CoWIN vaccination certificate. The idea behind the QR code is to address the problem of quacks. A doctor is expected to prominently display the QR code at his/her clinic so that the patients can check whether that doctor is a quack or not," said an official.

By requiring doctors to display these certificates, patients can make informed decisions about their healthcare providers, thereby reducing the risk of falling victim to unqualified practitioners.

The certification process involves thorough verification of the profile information by state government-appointed verifiers or state medical councils.

Only after verification is complete are the certificates issued to the healthcare professionals. This rigorous process ensures the authenticity of the certificates and instills confidence in patients regarding their doctors' qualifications.

Addressing the Quackery Epidemic

According to the Indian Medical Association, approximately one million unqualified medical practitioners, commonly known as quacks, are practicing medicine in the country.

This rampant issue poses a significant threat to public health and safety, making initiatives such as digital doctor certificates imperative in combating quackery and ensuring quality healthcare delivery.

To further promote the initiative and provide guidance to medical councils, the National Health Authority (NHA) is organizing a workshop on 30th May.

This workshop will offer insights into the ABDM and outline the details of the Know Your Doctor initiative. By engaging with stakeholders and streamlining the onboarding process, the government aims to expedite the verification and certification of medical professionals.

Utilizing Manpower During Healthcare Crises

The COVID-19 pandemic highlighted the challenges of identifying qualified medical professionals during healthcare crises.

With the implementation of digital doctor certificates, the government now has a dedicated repository of verified medical professionals. This repository facilitates efficient resource allocation during emergencies and ensures the availability of skilled healthcare professionals when needed the most.

Currently, approximately 139,000 doctors have been verified and issued certificates by the government. However, over 200,000 nurses enrolled under the National Health Digital Mission still need certificates. Among the medical professionals registered with the government, approximately 76.56% are from the public sector.

As part of expanding the Healthcare Professional Registry (HPR), the NHA is onboarding dentists, National Medical Commission members, allied healthcare professionals, and pharmacists.

This comprehensive registry aims to create a centralized database of healthcare professionals, further strengthening the country's healthcare infrastructure.


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