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Ministry of Health’s public consultation on National Digital Health Blueprint: Legal issues around telemedicine, consent, and ‘egosystems’ in healthcare

"The patient should be centric to every intervention," declared Preeti Sudan, special secretary at the Ministry of Health, at the ministry's public consultation on the National Digital Health Blueprint 2019, held at the Constitution Club of India in New Delhi on August 6. The venue was packed with representatives from the government, major hospitals chains, health start-ups, associations, and civil society organisations. The blueprint — which is an evolved document of the National Health Stack 2018 (NHS) — was put in the public domain on July 15, and comments were closed on August 4. After holding consultation on the NHS, the ministry formed a committee under the chairmanship of former UIDAI head and former MeitY secretary J. Satyanarayana to create an implementation document for the NHS. Health is a complex and interwoven subject, and deals with people's lives, said Sudan. "The patient should be centric to every intervention," she said. Clearly stated during the discussion was that private sector participation is important and necessary. Sudan opened the consultation by mentioning that the ministry is in the process of forming the e-pharmacy rules, "we've had extensive consultations on it": "There are issues which require assistance from all of you. We don't have e-prescriptions on a large scale, you can't expect government to lead e-prescriptions, we have hospitals all the country. So what can industry do, to make this application cheap and user-friendly, and have it across the system so epharmacy actually becomes possible. E-precriptions have been the norm wherever e-pharmacies have been…

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