Prime Minister Narendra Modi initiated the Ayushman Bharat Digital Mission on September 27, 2021, which the central government claims would improve the country’s healthcare infrastructure. Cheering the digital initiative, PM Modi said, “Today is a very important day. The drive to strengthen the health facilities of the country, in the last 7 years, is entering a new phase today. This is not an ordinary phase. This is an extraordinary phase.”
It is a National Digital Health Eco-system that promotes Universal Health Coverage in a practical, usable, inclusive, cost-effective, reliable, and secure manner by offering an array of info, data, and infrastructure services while harnessing open, interoperable, standards-based digital systems and maintaining the security, integrity of data, and confidentiality of health-related personal data.
Calling it a “progressive step”, the healthcare sector applauded the initiative. “The Pradhan Mantri Digital Health Mission (PMDHM) would be a revolutionary concept in the healthcare delivery of our country and would be akin to the introduction of Aadhaar card introduced in our country many years ago as a unique identification card for our citizens,” Hindustan Times quoted Chairman of Manipal Hospitals Dr Sudarshan Ballal as saying.
With people’s support, the Mission will allow access to and exchange of longitudinal health records. This will make it easier for healthcare professionals and healthcare service providers to expand their businesses.
Meanwhile, Union Minister for Health & Family Welfare, Mansukh Mandaviya, tweeted, “This Mission will create a seamless online platform to enable information-sharing within the digital health ecosystem. Citizens will be able to access health facilities conveniently.”
The Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) believes that the Mission will foster connectivity throughout the digital health ecosystem, similar to how the Unified Payments Interface (UPI) revolutionized payments. “Citizens will only be a click away from accessing healthcare facilities,” said PMO.
Know about the Ayushman Bharat Digital Mission:
- PM Modi introduced the National Digital Health Mission pilot project on August 15, 2020, during his Independence Day speech from the Red Fort.
- People will be given a unique digital health ID that will store all their health records as part of the initiative.
- The drive is being directed in six union territories: Andaman & Nicobar Islands, Chandigarh, Dadra & Nagar Haveli and Daman & Diu, Ladakh, Lakshadweep, Puducherry. According to a statement from the PMO, the project’s national launch coincides with the National Health Authority (NHA) marking the third anniversary of the Ayushman Bharat Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (AB PM-JAY).
- A health ID for each citizen will also serve as their health profile, to which personal health records can be accessed and linked using an application, as well as a Healthcare Professionals Registry (HPR) and Healthcare Facilities Registries (HFR) that will serve as an archive for all healthcare professionals across both modern and traditional systems. As per the statement, this will make it easy for doctors, hospitals, and healthcare service providers to expand their businesses.