Model Question and Answers for APSC | The National Digital Health Mission is a step in the right direction however concerns around data privacy need to be addressed. Critically discuss.
Ans : The National Health Policy, 2017 intended to digitize healthcare in India. Therefore, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has formulated the National Digital Health Mission (NDHM) with the aim to provide the necessary support for the integration of digital health infrastructure in the country.
Benefits for the patients include:
1.Patients will be able to securely store and access their medical records and share them with health care providers to ensure appropriate treatment and follow-up.
2.People will also have access to more accurate information on health facilities and service providers.
3. Further, they will have the option to access health services remotely through teleconsultation and e-pharmacy.
4. NDHM will provide choice to individuals to access both public and private health services and ensure transparency in the pricing of services and accountability for the health services being rendered
Benefits for the public health system include:
1. Health care professionals across disciplines will have better access to the patient’s medical history for prescribing more appropriate and effective health interventions
2. The integrated ecosystem will also enable a better continuum of care. For example, NDHM will help digitize the claims process and enable faster reimbursement.
3. Better quality of macro and micro-level data will enable advanced analytics, usage of health biomarkers and better preventive healthcare
4. It will also enable geography and demographybased monitoring and appropriate decision making
5. Finally, researchers will greatly benefit from the availability of such aggregated information as they will be able to study and evaluate the effectiveness of various programmes and interventions
6. NDHM would facilitate a comprehensive feedback loop between researchers, policymakers, and providers.
However, this raises certain concerns such as:
1. Data Integrity Issues
2. Data Collection, Storage and Transmission Challenges
3. Illegal Data selling and Theft
To address the data concerns regarding data privacy the Government has proposed - the Personal Data Protection Bill, 2019.