All doctors in India will soon have a unique identification number (UID) by 2024, according to the National Medical Commission (NMC), the regulatory body for medical education and professionals. As per a TOI report, the NMC announced on Tuesday that a pilot project to generate UIDs will be launched within the next two months, followed by an expansion to cover all practicing doctors across the country. An official stated that they aim to complete this process within the next six months.
The generation of UIDs is part of the NMC’s initiative to establish a national medical register, which will serve as a central repository of information on doctors practicing in India. This register will include details such as registration number, name, place of work, medical qualifications (including additional qualifications), specialty, and the names of the institutes/universities from where the qualifications were obtained.
The National Medical Register will be made accessible to the public through the NMC’s website, replacing the existing Indian Medical Register (IMR). It was mentioned that the data of nearly 14 lakh registered doctors will be transferred to the new register.
Undergraduate students will be initially assigned ‘masked UIDs’, which will be unmasked and allotted upon completion of their MBBS degree. These UIDs will remain with the doctors throughout their professional careers. Additionally, doctors will have the opportunity to update their qualifications on the portal.
In another development, the NMC has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Quality Council of India (QCI) to assess and rate medical institutions. Starting from the 2024-25 academic session, both government and private medical colleges in the country will be evaluated based on the quality of medical education they provide.
Currently, only government medical colleges are required to participate in the National Institutional Ranking Framework. Dr Yogendra Malik, a member of the Ethics and Medical Registration Board of NMC, explained that the QCI offers an independent third-party assessment mechanism and promotes quality through national accreditation of testing, inspection, and certification bodies that are internationally recognized.