PM Modi launches Ayushman Bharat Digital Mission

What is the News?

The Prime Minister has launched the Ayushman Bharat Digital Mission.

What is Ayushman Bharat Digital Mission?

Ayushman Bharat Digital Mission aims to provide digital health IDs for all Indian citizens to help hospitals, insurance firms and citizens access health records electronically when required. 

What are digital health IDs?

It is a unique 14-digit health identification number to be created using a person’s mobile number or Aadhaar. The digital health ID will allow users, hospitals and companies to access health records digitally. 

For example, presenting this ID to a healthcare provider will allow people to digitally receive lab reports, prescriptions, and diagnoses from verified doctors and health service providers. 

What information will the Health IDs capture?

Health IDs will have all health-related information of a person, but the sharing of the records will be done with the consent of citizens. 

This data will contain details of laboratory tests, medical history, doctor visits, prescriptions, and diagnosis. 

Health workers and hospitals will be able to access the information for proper treatment even if the patient moves to a new city or visits a new doctor. 

Is the new Health ID mandatory for citizens?

The Health ID will be free of cost and voluntary. However, the government insists that the medical records of private citizens will be stored to ensure security, confidentiality, and privacy of health-related information. 

Are there any privacy concerns?

Experts have warned that the government will have to be careful with the implementation of the programme. 

While most of them agree that health IDs are a noble step, the lack of a data protection bill could lead to the misuse of data by private firms and bad actors. 

Also, interoperability between systems built by different states and the central repository will be important to ensure that the system works as needed. 

Some also worry about citizens being excluded and denied healthcare due to faults in the system.

What are the other features  of  the  mission?

The other major component of the programme is creating a Healthcare Professionals Registry (HPR) and Healthcare Facilities Registry (HFR), allowing easy electronic access to medical professionals and health infrastructure. 

The HPR will be a comprehensive repository of all healthcare professionals involved in delivering healthcare services across both modern and traditional systems of medicine. 

The HFR database will have records of all the country’s health facilities.

Source: This post is based on the following articles

  • PM Modi launches Ayushman Bharat Digital Missionpublished in The Hindu on 28th Sep 2021.
  • PM launches Ayushman Bharat Digital Missionpublished in PIB on 27th Sep 2021.
  • “PM Modi launches Ayushman Bharat Digital Mission, health ID for every citizen”  published in Indian Express on 27th Sep 2021.
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