On the occasion of the 74th Independence Day, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday announced the National Digital Health Mission, which will leverage the power of technology to ensure the attainment of the highest-possible level of health and well-being for citizens.
The scheme will be rolled out through a pilot launch in the Union Territories of Chandigarh, Ladakh, Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Daman and Diu, Puducherry, Andaman and Nicobar Islands and Lakshadweep.
It comprises six key building blocks – Health ID, DigiDoctor, Health Facility Registry, Personal
Health Records, e-Pharmacy and Telemedicine — that will enable access to timely, safe and affordable healthcare through a ‘citizen-centric’ approach. All these digital products, except e-Pharmacy and Telemedicine, are up and running.
Making the announcement from the ramparts of the Red Fort, the Prime Minister said that the mission will bring about a revolution in the health sector and that a Unique Health ID will be provided to every citizen which will have details of the diseases, diagnosis, reports, medication etc, in a common database through a single ID.
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 National Health Authority, the attached office of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, has been given the mandate to design, build, roll-out and implement the mission in the country. Expanding on the key components, Dr Indu Bhushan, Chief Executive Officer of the National
Health Authority, said, “The core building blocks of the mission is that the health ID, DigiDoctor and Health Facility Registry shall be owned, operated and maintained by the Government of India.”
Private stakeholders will have an equal opportunity to integrate and create their own products for the market, Bhushan said, adding that the core activities and verifications, for example, generation of Health ID or approval of a doctor will, however, remain with the government.
The mission aims to liberate citizens from the challenges of finding the right doctors, seeking appointment, payment of consultation fee, making several rounds of hospitals for prescription sheets, among several others and will empower people to make an informed decision to avail the best possible healthcare.