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Concerns around the NDHM

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In August 2020, the Government of India announced the National Digital Health Mission (NDHM) for ensuring health services for all. The NDHM highlights that a “Health ID will be given to every Indian. This health account will contain details of every test, every disease, the doctors visited, the medicines taken and the diagnosis.” The objective of this mission is to make the health sector
in India more technologically advanced, inclusive as well as delivery-driven.

The health sector is the most crucial, especially during a pandemic outbreak. In this regard, the NDHM is expected to ensure affordable healthcare facility to all. While NDHM promises every individual with a health ID that will be integrated with the entire healthcare history of the individual, one is unable to understand in what way it will universalise access to healthcare. Undoubtedly, the sick will be identified digitally with all their basic information but an ID of this kind may not automatically ensure the healthcare need of the individual. Given the scenario of a massive dependence on private sector for healthcare and a meagre budgetary share of gross domestic product for health, such measures are in no way going to offer a solution to the prevailing inequality in access to healthcare. We need capacity expansion of the public health facility, the inadequacy of which is apparent when we are confronted with a pandemic and expect an enormous load of patients.

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Updated On : 16th Oct, 2020

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