Bhubaneswar: Union Petroleum & Natural Gas; Steel Minister Dharmendra Pradhan urged Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik for implementation of two central schemes in Odisha amidst COVID-19 pandemic.
He requested to Naveen to roll out the public welfare schemes — National Digital Health Mission (NDHM) and Ayushman Bharat – Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (AB-PMJAY) in Odisha.
“These schemes hold immense potential in improving the lives of people of Odisha,” Pradhan wrote in a letter to Naveen.
Stressing on digital health infrastructure in India, he wrote that Prime Minister Narendra Modi had announced the launch of National Digital Health Mission (NDHM) from ramparts of Red Fort in New Delhi on August 15, 2020, on occasion of 74th Independence Day. The mission will leverage the power of technology to ensure well-being for all citizens including the poor migrants of Odisha.
“NDHM is a holistic and voluntary healthcare programme which will involve all relevant stakeholders for the transformation of digital health infrastructure in India. True to the spirit of Prime Minister’s Digital India vision, the NDHM leverages the transformative power of e-governance by introducing the concept of a Unique Healthcare ID (UHID) for every citizen in India. The UHID will be a repository of all health-related information of a person, such as medical tests, previous prescriptions, diagnosis, treatments, all historical health records,” the letter read.
This portable nation-wide UHID will liberate citizens from the challenges of finding doctors in different locations seeking appointment with them, payment of consultation fee, making several visits for prescription sheets etc and will empower them to take informed decisions for availing the best possible healthcare services. The NDHM will bring about a revolution in the country’s healthcare sector where technology will play a leading role in minimising the challenges citizens face while seeking healthcare. The NDHM will not only improve the efficiency, effectiveness and transparency of health service delivery in the country but will also be a major stride towards achievement of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 3.8 of Universal Health Coverage, including financial risk protection, Pradhan said in the letter.
He said that ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’ will be built on a ‘Swasth Bharat’ and especially on healthcare facilities available to its most needy.
“As the ongoing covid-19 pandemic has shown us, among the most vulnerable sections of our society are migrant workers who suffer due to the geographic redundancy of social welfare schemes. The nation-wide portability of UHID will greatly benefit migrant workers, who will be able to digitally access all their health records anywhere in the country while seeking medical treatment,” the Union Minister wrote.
Highlighting the benefits of the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare’s scheme, he said that the UHID will also be a boon for people situated in remote rural areas of the country who are not able to access healthcare facilities frequently by facilitating telemedicine services and ensuring continuity of their medical history and treatments, thereby saving on their out-of-pocket expenses for medical diagnosis. The NDHM will also empower citizens as consumer of medical services to rate and provide feedback on healthcare service providers, thereby building accountability and competitiveness in the healthcare sector which will ultimately benefit common people of the country.
NDHM will be developed and implemented by National Health Authority (NHA), the attached office of the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare and the apex central government agency responsible for implementation of Ayushman Bharat. The scheme is already being rolled out in the Union Territories of Chandigarh, Ladakh, Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Daman and Diu, Puducherry, Andaman and Nicobar Islands and Lakshadweep on a pilot mode.
The NDHM will offer maximum benefits to states when integrated with the Ayushman Bharat, Pradhan said in his letter.
He urged Odisha CM to roll out Ayushman Bharat that will cover over 60 lakh beneficiaries in the State. He also requested to Patnaik to extend his support for implementation of the NDHM, which will provide timely and efficient access to inclusive, affordable and safe healthcare to people of Odisha.