Home Knowledge Path to progress...National Digital Health Mission (NDHM)

Path to progress...National Digital Health Mission (NDHM)

by Madhavi Mihir Bhuta (BJP Mahila Morcha)
Jul 12, 2021
Path to progress...National Digital Health Mission (NDHM), Knowledge, KonexioNetwork.com

Bharat is a vast landscape surrounded by land, mountain range, and ocean along its sides. The population settled on the riversides and the countryside developed self-sufficiency. Years ago, Bharat was the acclaimed leader of Ayurvedic medicines and homemade wellness remedies. People in rural areas generally, preferred following these readily available options.

Over time and as an impact of foreign rule, the Western Medical branches flourished on Bharatiya soil and became popular among Common Man, but its implementation was largely limited to urban and semi-urban regions. The villages and far away corners of the nation were deprived of high-tech medical facilities till very recently.

When Bharat became independent in 1947, from British rule, the medical infrastructure was limited to cities, and people residing in rural areas, with various ailments had no option but to travel to urban areas for treatment. They hardly had the knowledge or information of the therapeutic taken prior and such a situation caused innumerable medical complications.

As Narendra Modi Ji’s Government was elected at the Center in 2014, his visionary governance strategized to build medical infrastructure in the remote areas. Post-Independence, the then Congress Government had build just one AIIMS and that too at Delhi, hence the facility of updated medical aid was available to the urban population, neglecting the health-related necessities of interior rural areas. Hon. Prime Minister, in his tenure of seven years, has initiated building 15 AIIMS across the nation, especially at tier 2 and tier 3 destinations, like Nagpur (Mah.), Gorakhpur( UP), Kalyani (WB), Bathinda (Punjab), etc. Along with building updated medical infrastructure, Narendra Modi ji led Government to launch the National Digital Health Mission (NDHM) on 15th August 2020, intending to create an integrated healthcare system linking practitioners with the patients digitally by giving them access to real-time health records.

The idea behind developing NDHM is to create a backbone to support the integrated digital health infrastructure of the country. It would bridge the existing gap amongst different stakeholders of the Healthcare ecosystem through digital highways. National Health Authority (NHA) is entrusted with the role of designing strategy, building technological infrastructure, and implementing NDHM. NHA is also an apex body for the implementation of Ayushmann Bharat-PradhanMantri Jan Aarogya Yojna.(AB-PMJAY).

NDMH is built on the principles of ensuring greater inclusivity, efficiency, and transparency in the health sector. For patients, the mission aims to simplify access to their records and enables them to share digitally stored comprehensive health profiles with providers for treatment and follow-up purposes.

People currently find it cumbersome to maintain a long trail of paper-based records for health interventions like immunalisation, especially over a long time or while moving from one part of the country to another. Yet, these records are critical for monitoring an individual’s health status and ensuring continuity in treatment.

Undoubtedly, In the last seven years, the Healthcare sector has witnessed vast upliftment and strengthening of healthcare infrastructure but technological empowerment and digitization can certainly enable more effective utilization of existing facilities.

Gone are the days, when people standing in long queues at health facilities carrying multiple medical reports. Now, with the arrival of the digital and patient-friendly ecosystem, through world-class technologies, access to patient’s records would be just a click away.

Of course, the participation and sharing of data, are voluntary and all efforts have been taken to maintain the security, confidentiality, and privacy of health-related information. The digital identity of the person would be shared with certified doctors only after they provide their informed consent, as the NDMH architecture, ensures the health data is encrypted which leaves no opportunity for anyone to access the records or modify them without the explicit consent of the concerned individual. This consent is time-bound and the patient has the authority to determine the time frame of the consent.

Under NDMH, all Bharatiya can get access to a unique and easy-to-remember Health ID with details carrying details of their health and treatment history. Through the ID, individuals can not only be able to locate the verified hospitals and laboratories but also be able to evaluate the quality of service based on the feedback shared by others.

This feature would ensure the accountability of the health service provider.

In addition to individuals, all doctors, hospitals, diagnostic laboratories, and Pharmacies would also be given digital identity, creating a single and standardized process for completing their identification, certification, and audit formalities.

Participation for healthcare providers and establishments under NDMH would also be completely free of cost and the use of Aadhar for health ID would not be mandated.

Apart from other multiple benefits for patients and healthcare providers, NDMH would offer the service of Telemedicine, too. During the pandemic of COVID 19, the quarantined patients were relieved through telemedicine treatment. It is highly helpful for citizens residing in remote rural areas, who can access qualitative medical aid without involving any travel cost. Such travel, as well as lodging and boarding expenses of patients and their relatives, constitute nearly two-thirds of the total health expenditure in Bharat.

NDMH is rolled out initially in Six Union Territories-Chandigarh, Dadra Nagar Haveli & Diu-Daman, Ladakh, Andaman & Nicobar Islands, Lakshadweep, and Puducherry. The rest of the country will follow soon.

The use of technology has brought a revolution in a large number of sectors.

The financial sector is witnessing accelerating growth through Digital Banking facilities. Similarly, NDMH would empower the healthcare sector to cater to the nation’s huge population with upmarket healthcare and radically transform the nation into “स्वस्थ भारत”.

For sixty-plus years since independence, the Congress Government’s Healthcare infrastructures were urban concentrated. Narendra Modi Ji has wandered and traveled across the length and breadth of the nation in his youth and has closely seen the agony and torment of citizens. Modi Ji’s idea of bringing soothing relief for his family of 135 Crore Bhartiyas, is in reality a visionary reform, that would enrich the lives of every citizen.