The Prime Minister of India announced the launch of National Digital Health Mission (NDHM) on 74th Independence Day..
This is a part of three digital announcements by the Prime Minister including a new cyber security policy and optical fibre connectivity to six lakh villages in the country.
Q. What are its key features?
- The NDHM is a complete digital health ecosystem. The digital platform will be launched with four key features — health ID, personal health records, Digi Doctor and health facility registry.
- Background of NDHM is provided by The National Health Policy 2017 which had envisaged creation of a digital health technology eco-system aiming at developing an integrated health information system that serves the needs of all stakeholders and improves efficiency, transparency and citizens’ experience with linkage across public and private healthcare.
- At a later stage, NDHM will also include e-pharmacy and telemedicine services, regulatory guidelines for which are being framed.
- The platform will be available in the form of an app and website.
- The Digi Doctor option will allow doctors from across the country to enrol and their details, including their contact numbers if they want to provide them, will be available.
- These doctors will also be assigned digital signatures for free which can be used for writing prescriptions.
- It will be voluntary for the hospitals and doctors to provide details for the app.
Q. Which is implementation authority for it?
A. The NDHM is implemented by the National Health Authority (NHA) under the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.
The National Health Authority (NHA), is also the implementing agency for Ayushman Bharat.
Q. What is Health ID?
- The national health ID will be a repository of all health-related information of every Indian.
- Various healthcare providers — such as hospitals, laboratories, insurance companies, online pharmacies, telemedicine firms — will be expected to participate in the health ID system.
- Every patient who wishes to have their health records available digitally must create a unique Health ID, using their basic details and mobile or Aadhaar number.
- Each Health ID will be linked to a health data consent manager, which will be used to seek the patient’s consent and allow for seamless flow of health information from the Personal Health Records module.
- The Health ID will be voluntary and applicable across states, hospitals, diagnostic laboratories and pharmacies.
- A Digital Health ID was proposed to “greatly reduce the risk of preventable medical errors and significantly increase quality of care”.
Q. What is National Health Policy 2017?
Aiming to provide healthcare in an “assured manner” to all, the NHP 2017 strives to address current and emerging challenges arising from the ever-changing socio-economic, technological and epidemiological scenarios.
Q. What are its features and targets?
- The policy advocates a progressively incremental assurance-based approach.
- It denotes an important change towards a comprehensive primary health care package which includes care for major NCDs (non-communicable diseases), mental health, geriatric health care, palliative care and rehabilitative care services.
- It envisages providing larger package of assured comprehensive primary health care through the ‘Health and Wellness Centres’
- The policy proposes free drugs, free diagnostics and free emergency and essential health care services in all public hospitals in a bid to provide access and financial protection.
- It also envisages a three-dimensional integration of AYUSH systems encompassing cross referrals, co-location and integrative practices across systems of medicines.
- It also seeks an effective grievance redressal mechanism.
- Health Expenditure: The policy proposes raising public health expenditure to 2.5% of the GDP by 2025.
- To increase life expectancy at birth from 67.5 to 70 by 2025 and reduce infant mortality rate to 28 by 2019.
- To reduce mortality of children under-five years of age to 23 by the year 2025.
- To allocate a major proportion of resources to primary care and intends to ensure availability of two beds per 1,000 population distributed in a manner to enable access within golden hour (the first hour after traumatic injury, when the victim is most likely to benefit from emergency treatment).
- To achieve the global 2020 HIV target under 90-90-90 UNAIDS Target according to which by 2020,
- 90% of all people living with HIV will know their HIV status.
- 90% of all people with diagnosed HIV infection will receive sustained antiretroviral therapy.
- 90% of all people receiving antiretroviral therapy will have viral suppression.