In a significant development, the National Medical Commission (NMC) has embarked on a mission to assign a unique identification number to every doctor in the country by the end of 2024. The cornerstone of this initiative is the creation of the National Medical Register (NMR), which will serve as a centralized repository for doctors practicing in India. This move is expected to streamline the healthcare sector and enhance transparency.
Pilot Project and NMR Launch
- A pilot project for the National Medical Register (NMR) is set to be launched within the next six months, and the full-scale implementation is slated for completion by the end of 2024.
- Dr. Yogendra Malik, a member of the Ethics and Medical Registration Board of the NMC, provided insights into this ambitious project.
Key Features of the NMR
The NMR will replace the existing Indian Medical Register (IMR) and will be accessible to the public through the NMC’s website. It will offer comprehensive information about registered doctors, including:
- Unique Identification Number (UID): Each doctor will be assigned a unique identification number.
- Registration Number: The doctor’s registration number for verification.
- Name and Place of Work: Details of the doctor’s name and workplace.
- Qualifications: Information about the doctor’s educational qualifications.
- Specialization: The doctor’s area of expertise.
- Institute/University: The name of the institution or university where the qualifications were obtained.
Eliminating Duplication and Red-Tapism
- Dr. Malik emphasized that this initiative aims to create a ‘one nation, one registration platform’ for doctors, with a primary goal of eliminating duplication and bureaucratic hurdles within the registration process.
- Presently, approximately 1.4 million doctors are registered with the IMR, and they need not worry about the transition, as their data will be seamlessly transferred to the NMR.
Centralized UID Generation
- The Unique Identification Number (UID) will be generated centrally by the Ethics and Medical Registration Board (EMRB) of the NMC.
- This UID will serve as proof of registration with the NMR and grant doctors the eligibility to practice medicine in India.
- Moreover, once doctors are registered with the NMR, they will have the convenience of applying for and obtaining licenses to practice in multiple states, thereby increasing mobility within the profession.
Regulatory Framework and Student Integration
- The NMC introduced this groundbreaking move through its ‘Registration of Medical Practitioners and License to Practice Medicine Regulations, 2023,‘ issued in May of this year.
- Undergraduate medical students will be assigned ‘masked UIDs,’ which will be unveiled upon completion of their MBBS degree.
- These UIDs will remain valid for life, and doctors will have the ability to update their qualifications through the NMR’s online portal.
The NMR project promises to revolutionize the medical registration system in India, providing a unified platform for doctors and ensuring more efficient healthcare services across the nation.