PM Modi’s Independence Day Gift: A digital health scheme that offers health ID cards to all

PM Modi’s Independence Day Gift: A digital health scheme that offers health ID cards to all
PM Modi's digital health scheme announced today will include a health ID card for all.

In his Independence Day speech today, PM Modi announced the launch of National Digital Health Mission which includes a health ID card for every citizen among other features. Read on to know all about this scheme.

Written by Saswati Sarkar |Updated : August 15, 2020 11:36 AM IST

Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced the launch of National Digital Health Mission (NDHM) today while addressing the nation from the national capital's Red Fort today on the occasion of India's 74th Independence Day. As part of this mission, every Indian is going to get a unique health ID card. The aim of NDHM is to create a nationalised digital health ecosystem and its theme is 'Making India a Digital Health Nation.'

"Every Indian will get a Health ID card. Every time you visit a doctor or a pharmacy, everything will be logged in this health card in your profile on a national scale. From the doctor's appointment to the medication advised, everything will be available in your health profile," said Modi in his Independence Day speech.

This is part of the Government's 'One Nation One Health Card' scheme which aims to help citizens store their health records in a digital format. The health card that PM Modi referred to, in his Independence Day speech, will have a person's entire medical history saved in it digitally. 'One Nation One Health Card' is in line with the Modi Government's 'One Nation One Ration Card Scheme'.

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Features of NDHM

The National Digital Health Mission will be implemented in the form of an app or website one needs to be enrolled. The digital platform will offer these features: Health ID, personal health record, Digi Doctors and registration of health facilities across the country. While the Health ID card will issue a unique ID to citizens and maintain their entire health profile including tests and treatments, the registration facility will ensure that the hospitals and clinics are linked to a central server with the help of a unique electronic identifier assigned to them. The health ID card, which is aimed to function as a centralised storehouse of a citizen's health information, will minimise the need to carry paper documents of medical history while visiting a doctor or a health facility. One can link the unique Health ID to the Aadhaar Card too. The Digi Doc feature of NDHM, on the other hand, will allow doctors to enrol themselves in this scheme with their details and contact numbers. As part of this plan, the enrolled doctors will be provided digital signatures for free which they can use for writing prescriptions. At a later stage, this scheme will also include medical stores, medical insurance companies, e-pharmacies and telemedicine services.

This scheme will be implemented in select states in different phases. Currently, a budget of around 500 crores has been allotted for this project. Also, this scheme offers a voluntary digital platform, not a mandatory one. Citizens, doctors and healthcare facilities are at liberty to get enrolled to the app that it offers.

Will NDHM ensure data privacy?

According to sources, maintaining data security and privacy of information has been given utmost importance in NDHM. The design ensures that an individual's consent is mandatory to access his or her data. To put it simply, once you have your health ID card, your health records will be accessible to doctors, health care facilities and even the government only if you allow.