PM Modi launches National Digital Health Mission, every Indian to get health ID

74th Independence Day: PM Modi launches National Digital Health Mission. He said that it will revolutionise the Indian health sector

PM Modi launches National Digital Health Mission, every Indian to get health ID

NEW DELHI: Prime Minister Narendra Modi is likely to announce the launch of the National Digital Health Mission and a unique identity number among other measures on the 74th Independence Day with special focus on healthcare amid the Covid-19 outbreak.

As first reported by ET in its August 1 edition, Modi is likely to unveil a national digital health ecosystem which would digitise personal medical records, connect diagnostic centres, medical institutions and state medical councils, provide a villager living in a remote rural block an easy appointment at the district hospital and verify all doctors in the country.

Treatment for the poor under the Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (PM-JAY) or Ayushman Bharat would be standardised to ensure better care in private hospitals. The National Health Authority (NHA) would issue standard treatment guidelines for at least 30 treatments which would ensure minimum standard of care and prevent fraud by the private hospitals. So far, there were no standard treatment guidelines which prescribed minimum hospital stay, the line of treatment, preferred pharmaceutical and non-pharmaceutical treatments for common health problems. These guidelines are used to prevent the misuse of medicines and to encourage economically efficient medicines.

Of the 30 treatments, about 10 are slated for release on August 15. These treatments would include cataract surgery, caesarean hysterectomy, total knee replacement, haemodialysis, renal failure, systemic thrombolysis, coronary artery bypass grafting and mitral valvotomy.

“This is a significant step taken towards delivering minimum standard of care and to prevent fraud and abuse under the scheme. The process of development of these guidance documents has undergone a rigorous process of review by eminent clinical experts in the field,” a senior NHA official told ET.

The treatment guidelines would be released in a phased manner with ten being released on Saturday and another two batches of 10 guidelines across states and union territories.

The official said, “This would bring transparency into the system. There have been cases where private hospitals have charged for additional days of hospital stay but the patient has been discharged early or they have billed for more expensive medicines which were not necessary. This would be curbed and the patient would get better treatment.”

As per data provided by NHA, 14,937 suspicious cases were sent to State Anti-Fraud Units between January and July 2020.