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What is the national digital health mission?

Topics Covered: Issues related to health.

What is the national digital health mission?


Context:

In his address to the nation on Independence Day, the PM has launched the National Digital Health Mission which rolls out a national health ID for every Indian.

  • 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.

What is the National Digital Health Mission?

It is a digital health ecosystem under which every Indian citizen will now have unique health IDs, digitised health records with identifiers for doctors and health facilities.

  • The Mission is expected to bring efficiency and transparency in healthcare services in the country.
  • The new scheme will come under the Ayushman Bharat Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana.

Key features:

  1. It comprises six key building blocks — HealthID, DigiDoctor, Health Facility Registry, Personal Health Records, e-Pharmacy and Telemedicine.
  2. The National Health Authority has been given the mandate to design, build, roll-out and implement the mission in the country.
  3. 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.
  4. Private stakeholders will have an equal opportunity to integrate and create their own products for the market. The core activities and verifications, however, remain with the government.
  5. Under the Mission, every Indian will get a Health ID card that will store all medical details of the person including prescriptions, treatment, diagnostic reports and discharge summaries.
  6. The citizens will be able to give their doctors and health providers one-time access to this data during visits to the hospital for consultation.

What was the need for this mission?

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.

Background:

The ambitious National Digital Health Mission finds its roots in a 2018 Niti Aayog proposal to create a centralised mechanism to uniquely identify every participating user in the National Health Stack.

Have there been global instances of such a centralised health record system?

In 2005, the UK’s National Health Service (NHS) started deployment of an electronic health record systems with a goal to have all patients with a centralised electronic health record by 2010. While several hospitals acquired electronic patient records systems as part of this process, there was no national healthcare information exchange. The program was ultimately dismantled after a cost to the UK taxpayer was more than £12 billion, and is considered one of the most expensive healthcare IT failures.

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. Overview of the National Digital Health Mission.
  2. Components of the mission.
  3. Proposed National Health ID.
  4. Who can issue these IDs?
  5. Key hit of the National Health Policy 2017.

Mains Link:

Discuss the significance of the National Digital Health Mission.

Sources: pib.