The Ministry of Health approves a data management policy to digitize the health ecosystem
The Union’s Minister of Health and Family Welfare, Dr. Harsh Vardhan, on Monday approved the National Digital Health Mission (NDHM) health data management policy that intends to digitize the entire health ecosystem of India by creating digital health records and creating and maintaining records for health care. professionals and sanitary facilities. The measures come in an attempt to ensure a seamless interoperable framework for the multiple partners associated with delivering health care to people in the country.
The National Health Authority (NHA), which is the implementing agency, has also notified the final approved policy.
The NHA had put the draft policy in the public domain between August 20 and September 21, to seek comments and suggestions from citizens and stakeholders shortly after the launch of the NDHM by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. .
After extensive consultation and feedback with stakeholders, the policy was further modified based on input from the public.
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“After more than a month of soliciting comments from various stakeholders and the general public, we received 910 comments and suggestions through 6,983 emails and via the website. Many of these contributions and suggestions were considered quite relevant and deserved further attention. We incorporated them to review the draft of the policy and we sent it to the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare of the Union for its review and final approval. We are happy that the policy has been approved by the health minister and we can now begin field preparations for the deployment of NDHM across India, ”said Indu Bhushan, NHA Executive Director.
The policy acts as a guidance document throughout the National Digital Health Ecosystem (NDHE) and establishes the minimum standard for the protection of data privacy that must be followed in all areas to ensure compliance with laws, rules and relevant and applicable regulations.
The participation of a person in the NDHE will be voluntary. Those who wish to participate will receive a unique medical ID after verification through a valid government document, including the Aadhaar card.
However, the use of the Aadhaar card for verification will also be voluntary, and failure to use Aadhaar or refusal to do so will not result in denial of access to any health facility or service under the policy.
The National Digital Health Plan, 2019, recommends adopting a federated architecture, rather than a centralized architecture, for digital health data management to ensure interoperability, technological flexibility, and independence across the NDHE.
The government will now work on guidelines for the implementation of the policy which will likely be updated from time to time to make it more relevant in current times.