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National Digital Health Mission Rolled Out on Pilot Mode in Six Union Territories

PTI

Last Updated: August 15, 2020, 21:05 IST

FILE PHOTO: A doctor wearing a protective face shield uses an infrared thermometer to measure the temperature of a child at his mobile health clinic, after his clinic and its adjoining areas were declared a micro-containment zone, after authorities eased lockdown restrictions that were imposed to slow the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in Ahmedabad, India, REUTERS/Amit Dave

FILE PHOTO: A doctor wearing a protective face shield uses an infrared thermometer to measure the temperature of a child at his mobile health clinic, after his clinic and its adjoining areas were declared a micro-containment zone, after authorities eased lockdown restrictions that were imposed to slow the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in Ahmedabad, India, REUTERS/Amit Dave

The six union territories where the mission was rolled out through a pilot launch are Chandigarh, Ladakh, Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Daman and Diu, Puducherry, Andaman and Nicobar Islands and Lakshadweep.

The ambitious National Digital Health Mission (NDHM), unveiled by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday, under which every Indian will get a health ID that will ease access to medical services has been rolled out on a pilot mode in six union territories.

The National Health Authority (NHA), the apex agency responsible for the implementation of Ayushman Bharat Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana, has been given the mandate by the government to design, build, roll-out and implement the NDHM in the country.

The six union territories where the mission was rolled out through a pilot launch are Chandigarh, Ladakh, Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Daman and Diu, Puducherry, Andaman and Nicobar Islands and Lakshadweep, the NHA said in a statement.

In his Independence Day address, the prime minister said that under NDHM every Indian citizen will get a health ID which will store every individual's medical records and the Mission will herald a new revolution in the health sector.

"From today, a major campaign is being launched in which technology will play a big role. The National Digital Health Mission is being launched today. This will bring a new revolution in India's health sector and it will help reduce problems in getting treatment with the help of technology," he said.

The health ID will contain information about medical data, prescriptions and diagnostic reports and summaries of previous discharge from hospitals for ailments. The mission is expected to bring efficiency and transparency in healthcare services in the country.

Welcoming the historic announcement by the prime minister, Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan said, "Based on the initial learnings in the UTs, we will gradually work in partnership with the states to launch the NDHM. I seek the whole-hearted support, inputs and cooperation of doctors, healthcare facilities, citizens and state governments to adopt this game-changing scheme."

The NDHM is a holistic, voluntary healthcare programme that will reduce the existing gap between various stakeholders such as doctors, hospitals and other healthcare providers, pharmacies, insurance companies, and citizens by bringing them together and connecting them in an integrated digital health infrastructure, the NHA statement said.

The NDHM comprises six key building blocks or digital systems - HealthID, DigiDoctor, Health Facility Registry, Personal Health Records, e-Pharmacy andTelemedicine - that will enable access to timely, safe and affordable healthcare through a 'citizen-centric' approach, it said.

All of these digital products except e-Pharmacy and telemedicine have been deployed and are up and running.

Providing details on the key components of NDHM, NHA CEO Dr Indu Bhushan said, "The core building blocks of NDHM such as Health ID, Digi-Doctor and Health Facility Registry shall be owned, operated and maintained by the government of India. Private stakeholders will have an equal opportunity to integrate with these building blocks and create their own products for the market. However, core activities and verifications, for example, generation of Health ID or approval of a doctor/facility shall remain with the government."

Additional components, like Personal Health Record (PHR) and Electronic Medical Record (EMR) solutions can be developed by private players as well, in line with guidelines that will be issued. All such products by private participants shall be as per official guidelines taking care of security, privacy and standards of the NDHM ecosystem, he elaborated.