Very few takers for national health identity plan with only eight lakh entries

Express News Service
NEW DELHI:  There seems to be a less than enthusiastic response to the Centre’s plan to create national health identities under the National Digital Health Mission with only 8 lakh IDs being created in the nearly six months of its launch on a pilot basis.

In the six UTs where the initiative was started, 8,05,674 health IDs had been created till last week, said a reply by the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare to a question in the Lok Sabha.

This means that on an average only 4,475 people have come forward to get themselves registered to digitally record their health details every day. The reply also shows that the highest number of IDs was created in Puducherry and only about half the fund of Rs 1 crore, allocated for the initiative in the current financial year, had been spent so far.

The mission was announced by PM Narendra Modi on August 15 year. Among other things, the plan is mainly aimed at providing easy access to electronic health records to citizens, generating longitudinal health record data and also ensuring privacy of personal health data along with consent-based access to electronic health records.

According to officials, health IDs can be created by providing basic information that includes full name, year of birth, gender, and either a mobile number or an Aadhaar number.

As per the NDHM policy document, the objective of the mission is “to create a system of digital personal and medical health records which is easily accessible to individuals and health service providers and is purely voluntary in nature, based on the consent of individuals”.

The ministry’s response also added that this system can be used to create personal health records for each individual wherein records generated by various health information providers like doctors, healthcare facilities and laboratories can be collated and viewed by that individual and by healthcare providers with the consent of the individual only.