December 7, 2021

PM Narendra Modi launches health ID, digital record for citizens

By Administrator_ India

Capital Sands

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday launched the digital Ayushman Bharat Mission and said the initiative would bring about a revolutionary change in India’s health facilities, improve ease of living, and digitally protect the health records of people.

He said in a virtual address that the mission would create a seamless online platform that would enable interoperability within the digital health ecosystem.

Referring to the Jan Dhan-Aadhaar-Mobile (JAM) trinity, the prime minister said the digital infrastructure was taking everything from ‘Ration to Prashasan’ to the common Indian in a fast and transparent manner. “There is no such big connected infrastructure anywhere in the world,” Modi said.

The PM said the Ayushman Bharat–Digital Mission would connect the digital health solutions of hospitals across the country with each other and simplify hospital processes. Every citizen would be able to get a health ID and their health record would be digitally protected, Modi said. Experts, however, have raised privacy concerns around the digitization of the health records of people, especially in absence of a data protection law or a data protection authority. Digital rights organization Access Now has said in a letter to the health ministry: “The use of ‘unique identifiers’ imperils privacy, and enables the “mosaicing” or creation of a complete profile of users, which can be used to target them by commercial or state actors. This must not be permitted.”

Modi stressed that the initiative would play a very important role in eliminating the medical problems of the poor and the middle-class section of society.

He acknowledged that diseases were one of the key reasons to push families into the vicious cycle of poverty. Modi said women in these families were the worst sufferers as they would always relegate their health issues to the background.

More than 20 million citizens have so far availed of the facility of free treatment under the Ayushman Bharat scheme, half of whom are women, according to the government. The PM acknowledged that diseases were one of the key reasons to push families into the vicious cycle of poverty. He said women in these families were the worst sufferers as they would always relegate their health issues to the background.

The Ayushman Bharat scheme was launched by the prime minister on September 23, 2018. So far, 23,000 hospitals have been impaneled under the scheme, 40 percent of which are from the private sector. It was in the middle of the pandemic that the government had launched the national digital health mission. The unique digital health ID is part of this program which seeks to give control over their health data and digital personal health records.

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