How Ayushman Bharat Health Accounts are helping millions get quality healthcare

New Delhi: The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare on Thursday shared an explainer on how Ayushman Bharat Health Accounts (ABHA) are facilitating cashless transactions and managing financial aspects related to healthcare services under the ‘Ayushman Bharat’ scheme.

ABHA, a key component of the Ayushman Bharat Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (AB-PMJAY), is an account/number used to link all the health records of a person.

According to the health ministry, ABHA reduces out-of-pocket expenses for beneficiaries and improves access to quality healthcare.

By enabling cashless transactions and electronic health records, ABHA minimises administrative hassles and delays, allowing healthcare providers to focus on patient care.

In addition, ABHA generates valuable data insights that can be used for evidence-based decision-making and policy formulation, which helps in addressing healthcare challenges effectively and improving the overall quality of care.

“ABHA intends to create a digital health ecosystem and aims to promote digitisation of healthcare. Any individual can enroll in Ayushman Bharat Digital Mission (ABDM) to generate a Health ID or ABHA, free of cost,” the health ministry noted.

With the ABHA mobile application, individuals can effortlessly access and share their health records digitally. It allows patients to seamlessly receive digital lab reports, prescriptions, and diagnoses from various healthcare providers, including doctors, labs, hospitals, and wellness centres.

The ministry also addressed some of the myths that people may encounter with ABHA.

Answering one of such myths, ‘Is it possible for the government or any other entity to do surveillance of the health status’, the ministry stated: “No. The health records are created and stored at the place of their creation by respective healthcare providers (which is the case even now).”

“The government will not have access to such data. No additional means of accessing such data is being created or envisaged in the current ecosystem.”

Responding to another myth, the health ministry said that only individuals can share their own records with other doctors or hospitals using different digital health systems after giving their consent.

Through technology and data-driven approaches, ABHA aims to improve access to quality healthcare and relieve financial burdens on vulnerable sections of society.

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