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News on Health 4 ArdorComm Media Group Health Ministry Suspends Mandatory Linking of CGHS and ABHA IDs
News on Health 4 ArdorComm Media Group Health Ministry Suspends Mandatory Linking of CGHS and ABHA IDs

Health Ministry Suspends Mandatory Linking of CGHS and ABHA IDs

-By ArdorComm News Network

The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has announced the suspension of the compulsory linking of Central Government Health Services (CGHS) beneficiary IDs with Ayushman Bharat Health Account (ABHA) IDs until further notice. This decision, stated in an office memorandum signed by Satheesh YH, director of CGHS, follows a review of previous orders that had made the linkage mandatory.
The mandatory linkage, originally set to be enforced from April 1 and later extended to June 30, aimed to integrate various government health schemes under the Ayushman Bharat Digital Mission (ABDM). However, practical issues, including data privacy concerns and the current state of technology infrastructure, appear to have influenced the decision to make the linkage optional for the time being.
The CGHS provides comprehensive healthcare services to central government employees, pensioners, and their dependent family members, covering over 4.5 million people across 75 cities. In contrast, the ABHA ID is a unique 14-digit number identifying beneficiaries within India’s digital healthcare ecosystem. Despite the previous mandate, only 231,134 CGHS IDs had been linked with ABHA IDs by June 26, according to the CGHS dashboard.
Experts have pointed out several issues with the mandatory linking of CGHS and ABHA IDs. Sunil Rao, COO of Sahyadri Group of Hospitals, highlighted data privacy concerns and the inadequacies in current technology infrastructure as potential reasons for the decision. An anonymous expert further noted that the government had not clearly outlined how digital records would be protected, despite assurances that records under ABHA ID would be encrypted and safeguarded under the Digital Protection of Data and Privacy Act.
Rao welcomed the move, describing it as a balanced approach that allows time to address data security and system integration issues. He emphasized that making the linkage voluntary would enable the government to ensure infrastructural readiness and gain public acceptance before full implementation.
The Health Ministry’s decision reflects a cautious approach, ensuring that when the policy is ultimately enforced, it will be with comprehensive preparedness and widespread support.

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