Govt bets on AI to check medical corruption

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By Our Special Correspondent

New Delhi, February 10: The government has said that it’s introducing artificial intelligence to check corruption and financial frauds in medical institutions. On the recommendation of the NITI Ayog, the Central government has recently designated All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), New Delhi as the Centre of Excellence (CoE) for Artificial Intelligence (AI) in healthcare.

The move to explore the use of AI in AIIMS, New Delhi has been taken with a view to deploy technology in health schemes facilitating policy decision. “Artificial Intelligence (AI) tools can support monitoring of physical and financial aspects of programmes, including fraud detection, effective disease management, identifying early warning signals as part of surveillance, development of Clinical Decision Support System (CDSS) supporting practitioners in providing quality care, etc.,” the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare told the Lok Sabha on Friday during Question Hour.

The government also stated that the National Health Authority (NHA) which implements Ayushman Bharat Pradhan Mantri – Jan Arogya Yojna (ABPM – JAY) has setup a National Anti-Fraud Unit (NAFU) with the primary responsibility for prevention, detection and deterrence of fraud and abuse under ABPM-JAY. “National Health Authority has been using AI technologies to detect suspicious transactions / potential frauds in AB PM – JAY,” said the Ministry, which also informed the lower House of Parliament that a joint surprise check was conducted by the CBI in AIIMS, Rishikesh “to verify inter alia the allegations related to the violation of tendering process, cartel formation to bag tender etc. in the matter of award of contract”.

Meanwhile, the Ministry also told the Lok Sabha that the government has increased number of medical colleges and subsequently increased MBBS seats in the country. “There is an increase of 69 per cent in Medical Colleges from 387 before 2014 to 655 as of now. Further, there is an increase of 95 per cent in MBBS seats from 51348 before 2014 to 100163 as of now and increase of 110 per cent in PG seats from 31185 before 2014 to 65335 as of now,” said the Ministry in reply to a question in the Lok Sabha.

The Ministry also stated that there are 13,08,009 allopathic doctors registered with the State Medical Councils (SMCs) and the NMC as on June, 2022. “Assuming 80 per cent availability of registered allopathic doctors and 5.65 lakh AYUSH doctors, the doctor-population ratio in the country is 1:834,” added the Ministry.

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