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Digital Health Mission a voluntary, central repository of records: Ministry

It liberates citizens from the challenges of finding the right doctors, payment of consultation fee, making several rounds of hospitals for prescription sheets

August 15, 2020 11:42 am | Updated November 28, 2021 01:01 pm IST - New Delhi

Prime Minister Narendra Modi arrives to attend the Independence Day celebrations at the historic Red Fort in New Delhi on August 15, 2020.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi arrives to attend the Independence Day celebrations at the historic Red Fort in New Delhi on August 15, 2020.

The National Digital Health Mission (NDHM) aims to ‘liberate’ citizens from the challenges of finding the right doctors, seeking appointment with them, payment of consultation fee, making several rounds of hospitals for prescription sheets, the Health Ministry said in a statement.

On Saturday, as part of his Independence Day address, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced that “a new campaign” would begin called the NDHM.

Highlights of PM’s Independence Day speech

“Every Indian will get a Health ID card. Every time you visit a doctor or a pharmacy, everything will be logged in this card. From the doctor’s appointment to the medication, everything will be available in your health profile,” he said.

The National Health Authority (NHA), the attached office of the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare which runs the Ayushman Bharat Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana, would “design, build, roll-out and implement the NDHM,” the Health Ministry said. The scheme would first be tested in the Union Territories of Chandigarh, Ladakh, Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Daman and Diu, Puducherry, Andaman & Nicobar Islands and Lakshadweep. 

Game-changing scheme: Harsh Vardhan

Dr. Harsh Vardhan, Minister of Health & Family Welfare, 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 would be a voluntary healthcare programme that would reduce the gap among 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. It comprises six key building blocks or digital systems namely HealthID, DigiDoctor, Health Facility Registry, Personal Health Records, e-Pharmacy & telemedicine.

Dr. Indu Bhushan, Chief Executive Officer, National Health Authority, 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 the 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.”

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