The deadline for sending comments to the Draft Health Data Management Policy has been extended to September 21, from September 10, National Health Authority (NHA) CEO Indu Bhushan tweeted. His office also confirmed the extension to MediaNama. This is the second deadline extension for the policy’s public consultation. When the draft policy was released on August 25, the deadline was September 3, but it was extended to September 10 on September 1.
This extension comes just a day after the Delhi High Court disposed off a petition that raised issues with the Draft Health Data Management Policy, including its consultation process. Despite dismissing the petition, the court asked the government to consider the petitioner’s representation sent on August 29. The petition had been filed by disability rights activist Dr Satendra Singh and lawyers of Delhi-based digital rights NGO Internet Freedom Foundation. Apart from challenging the insufficient public consultation period, the petitioners had opposed the policy on grounds of exclusion and inaccessibility. They argued that the policy was made available only in English, was only online, and that it was inaccesible for people with visual disabilities.
The court said that any issues with the policy can be challenged in court, including on grounds of the consultation process being inadequate.