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Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s announcement of a national health ID for every Indian finds it origins in a 2018 Niti Aayog proposal to form a centralized way to exclusively identify every participating user in the National Health Stack.

To those who don’t know, the national health ID will be a storehouse of all health-related information of a person. According to the National Health Authority (NHA), every patient who wishes to have their health records available digitally must start by forming this Health ID. Each Health ID will be connected to a health data consent manager — such as National Digital Health Mission (NDHM) — which will be used to seek the patient’s consent and allow for unified flow of health information from the Personal Health Records module. The Health ID is shaped by using a person’s basic details and mobile number or Aadhaar number. This will make it exceptional to the person, who will have the option to link all of their health records to this ID.

The National Health Policy 2017 had envisaged creation of a digital health technology eco-system pointing at developing an united health information system that serves the needs of all participants and improves efficiency, transparency and citizens’ experience with linkage across public and private healthcare.

As foreseen, various healthcare providers — such as hospitals, laboratories, insurance companies, online pharmacies, telemedicine firms — will be likely to participate in the health ID system. The policy overview document points out that while option of digital Health ID will be there, in case a person does not want Health ID, then also treatment should be allowed.

Well, this is a new initiative to make India digital. What are your thoughts?


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Joydev Mishra

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