To conduct a detailed review of the implementation of Ayushman Bharat - Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (AB PM-JAY), the flagship health protection mission and National Digital Health Mission (NDHM), Dr. Harsh Vardhan, Union Minister for Health and Family Welfare visited National Health Authority (NHA). There he interacted with several officials and did a detailed review of implementation of both the schemes.

Dr. Vardhan said, “The National Digital Health Mission was launched under the visionary leadership of our Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi ji to expand access to timely, affordable, safe healthcare for all 1.3 billion citizens wherever they are and whenever they need. The NDHM will digitalize healthcare by creating a country-wide digital health ecosystem that will enable patients to store, access and consent to share their health records with doctors and health facilities of their choice.”

Dr. Indu Bhushan, CEO, National Health Authority (NHA) gave a full demo of the key systems of NDHM - HealthID, DigiDoctor, Health Facility Registry, eHospital, Patient Health Records and Consent Manager- to the Minister in the presence of senior officers of NHA.

Sharing his observations, Dr. Vardhan said, “Today, I reviewed NDHM and I am happy to note that in just a little over three months, the Mission has made notable progress in its pilot in six Union Territories of Andaman & Nicobar, Chandigarh, Dadra & Nagar Haveli and Daman & Diu, Ladakh, Lakshadweep and Puducherry, and will soon be ready for a national roll-out. From both the citizen and medical practitioner point of view, the mission is privacy and security-led and will enable consent-based sharing of health information in the form of test reports, scans, prescriptions and diagnosis reports between patients and treating medicos thereby making follow-up care seamless, secure and timely.”

He also added, “One of the most remarkable aspects of NDHM is that it takes into account the lived realities of Indians spread across the digital divide. NDHM will empower millions of citizens without smart phones or those in remote tribal areas facing connectivity issues to still avail healthcare through its offline modules.”

The mission of NDHM is to harness technology and improve the efficiency, effectiveness, and transparency of healthcare delivery in India through better access to healthcare data. A wide-range of data, information and infrastructure services and privacy of health-related personal information will help create a national digital health ecosystem. Starting with the building of Health IDs, Unique Identifiers for doctors and health facilities, Personal Health Records, and telemedicine and e-pharmacy, among other components, NDHM seeks to create a national digital health infrastructure.

Dr. Harsh Vardhan also reviewed the implementation of Ayushman Bharat PM-JAY and appreciated the progress of the scheme. He said, “In these unprecedented times, I am pleased to know that more than 1.4 crore cashless treatments worth over Rs. 17,500 crore have been provided to the poorest citizens under Ayushman Bharat PM-JAY. During the height of the pandemic, Government of India has been careful to not lose focus away from critical illnesses and ensured that all those needing such essential healthcare were provided the same. This has resulted in savings of nearly Rs. 35,000 crore to the people. We understand that this health assurance and its delivery is a huge source of support and security for millions of families reeling under the extreme stress of serious illness amidst this pandemic.”