“Make in India- make for the world”- said prime minister Narendra Modi from the ramp parts of the red forts from the national capital in his Independence day speech to the country. The PM highlighted the importance to make India- A self-reliant country, saying it is not just a word but should be a mantra- way of living for people. The PM reiterated the push and hardened the call of ‘Local for vocal’ and said that India should strive for the meeting of the needs of the world as well. This has also been the opportunity to warn expansionist forces like China, that India has secured its borders from LoC to LAC and any transgression on Indian soil will not go unpunished. The PM also further laid down that every citizen will be provided with a universal health ID, which means that their medical records such as test, diagnosis, treatment will be digitalized and saved as a database that can be accessed from anywhere across the country. Now, all eyes are on the antidote for the COVID 19 as Prime Minister said three indigenous vaccine candidates are undergoing different stages of trial and testing. The entire rule map of production, delivery, and distribution is being chalked out.
One of the key takeaways is what the PM said about the equal opportunity for everyone. Indian PM has broken a taboo about hygiene, talking about how sanitary pads have been distributed for 1 rupee and government has sanctioned 5 crores so that its available for every woman in every part of India. And we need to consider the fact that even his government is reviewing the marriageable age. Now, we can look at the aspect of LoC to LAC, the messages being sent to both Pakistan and China, that any kind of misadventure will not be tolerated and India will give a befitting reply. There are these aspects particularly related to the times that we are living in as this speech is being delivered right at the heart of the pandemic. The focus of the speech was also on the vaccine. The three indigenous vaccines are in three different stages and hoping to find a solution soon.
National Digital Health Card Initiation:
We were expecting the PM to talk about Atma-nirbhar or self-reliant India, and that’s exactly what was addressed. But we can see that PM since 2014 (i.e) ever since being elected as Prime minister and started addressing the nation from the ramp parts of red forts has used these platforms for making any important policy announcement. In 2014, it was swatch Bharath or clean India mission, and last year when the government won with an overwhelming majority, it was sending a message of population control. It is a need for greater awareness as its important in curtailing the population explosion. Today, it was about the digital health mission, because the focus on health is very important to India. we have seen the digital India approach under Prime minister Narendra Modi and now the fact he said that every Indian must have a digital health card; which is essentially saying that every aspect of livelihood will be linked to our bank account and that’s why we have Adhaar ID. All that will now be a part of this digital health mission card.
The prime minister Narendra Modi is all set to launch the National digital health mission( NDHM). The first thing we need to know and the most important things are, it is completely voluntary, whether you are a doctor or whether you are a patient. Citizens have an option to get a digital health ID. You can get it yourself with self-registration on the mobile phone or the website or can take the help of a doctor or hospital as well. It will be a 14 digit number with your chosen username at the rate of NDHM, which becomes your ID. These ID will also hold your photo, QR code, and to generate it, you need to give your name, gender, DOB, and either your mobile number or Adhaar number. Adhaar is not mandatory so you don’t have to give your number if you don’t feel so. But you will have to if you want to use any government schemes, insurance schemes on the government then they will require the Adhaar number.
The doctors can also volunteer to be what they called ‘ Digi doctors’. It’s up to the doctors to decide if they want to volunteer and be part of the digital ecosystems. Why they should do it? If they don’t, they can’t give an e-prescription or do e-diagnosis to give check out summaries on the online format and this becomes the advantage for them if they want to be relevant in part of the digital ecosystem. This itself is going to be massive and here’s why for the first time, we are going to see an initiative to create a database of doctors and more importantly, this repository will only have qualified doctors. This is the first time you could have a repository of doctors and this information would start flowing in from medical colleges and the repository will only have those who are identified by state medical council or the national medical council so this is crucial for the first time that we will be having this database.
The healthcare providers, hospital chains, clinics, facilities, and all these people will also have the information. What’s going to be interesting is they will have to maintain this data physically in a server in their facility to make them accountable for it. So this takes care of the whole chain, you’ve got people, those who require the healthcare, who are going to provide the doctors and where they’re going to provide it and have a database, then of hospitals, clinic centers, and the whole ring role. It is voluntary but its also going to work by consent as the cardholder will have the data and also the right to chose whom the information is to be shared with. Why is this crucial? Supposing let’s say you go to a clinic in a hospital near Bengaluru and you are diagnosed with some alignment and you also possess the health ID, now you want to have a second opinion on that matter of diagnosis so you are approaching AIIMS in Delhi. The information will be shared in a PDF form after the permission of the patient and in reading the only format, so the doctors here cannot make any change and can only read. This is going to be a very secure method and it cannot tamper easily. Medical health experts welcome this and suggest it’s going to be a major game-changer. This is relatively a new concept but this is just one of the few important takeaways and technically a hopefully one, from the independence speech of Prime minister Narendra Modi. How much of it will be put into action is yet to wait and see. But if India is going digital so does its medical route!