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In Parliament, MoHFW provides break-up of all Health IDs created under NDHM pilot project

Out of the six union territories where the NDHM pilot is being implemented, the maximum number of Health IDs were issued in Puducherry.  

The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) in reply to a parliamentary question revealed that the total number of Unique Health IDs created so far under the ongoing pilot project of the National Digital Health Mission (NDHM) is over 1.1 million. The question was asked by Congress MP Pradyut Bordoloi in the Lok Sabha and answered on July 23.

Minister of State for the MoHFW Dr. Bharati Pravin Pawar in her reply also said that the total budget that was earmarked for creating Unique Health IDs for the year 2020-21 under the NDHM pilot was Rs 30 crore.

Why it matters? The National Digital Health Mission, started as a pilot project in August 2020, was instituted to create a digital health architecture using health IDs, unique identifiers and registries for doctors and health facilities, personal health records, telemedicine, and e-pharmacies, among other components. Since then, it has also been expanded nationwide after the health ministry earlier this year allowed the creation of Health IDs through voluntary authentication of identity through Aadhaar to beneficiaries of  “various health IT applications.” Privacy experts had, upon the NDHM’s launch, raised concerns about the digitisation of health records, saying that the proposed ‘womb to tomb’ health identity raised the possibility of surveillance.

Break-up of Health-IDs across 6 UTs

Pawar said that 11,68,226 Health IDs had been issued under the pilot that is currently taking place in six Union Territories.

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  • Andaman & Nicobar Islands (2,14,297)
  • Lakshadweep (51,745)
  • Ladakh (76,968)
  • Dadra & Nagar Haveli and Daman & Diu (1,39,449)
  • Puducherry (4,91,903)
  • Chandigarh (1,93,864)

What is a Unique Health ID?

A Unique Health ID is a unique identifier that is linked to a person’s health records, their Aadhaar card, and phone number. According to an NHA consultation paper, this would create a longitudinal Personal Health Record (PHR) for the individual, i.e., a medical record across multiple patient encounters in different health facilities.

NDHM’s national roll-out

NDHM was launched as a pilot project in six Union Territories including Ladakh, Lakshwadeep, Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Dadra & Nagar Haveli and Daman & Diu, Chandigarh, and Puducherry. However, in a consultation meeting held recently, Additional CEO of the National Health Authority Dr. Praveen Gedam said that parts of the NDHM such as the healthcare professionals and health facility registries will be nationally rolled out soon.

Full text of the question and answer

Questions:

(a) the details of budget earmarked for implementation of the National Health Data Management policy;
(b) the details of budget earmarked under the National Digital Health Mission;
(c) the budget earmarked for the pilot project of generating Health ID in Union Territories; and
(d) the details of implementation and assessment of pilot project of Health ID in Union Territories?

Answer: Minister of State for the MoHFW Dr. Bharati Pravin Pawar replied saying that-

(a): Health Data Management (HDM) Policy is one of the documents used for implementation of National Digital Health Mission (NDHM). Therefore, there is no separate provision of budget for implementation of the National Health Data Management policy.
(b) & (c): The total budget earmarked for the year 2020-21 for National Digital Health Mission (NDHM) for creation of Unique Health ID was Rs 30 crore.
(d): Health IDs are being created in the 6 UTs where NDHM pilot phase is being implemented. As on 19th July 2021, 11,68,226 Health IDs have been created across these 6 UTs. The UT-wise breakup is given below:

UT                                                  No. of Health IDs created
Andaman & Nicobar Islands          2,14,297
Lakshadweep                                     51,745
Ladakh                                                76,968
Dadra & Nagar Haveli
and Daman & Diu                            1,39,449
Puducherry                                       4,91,903
Chandigarh                                      1,93,864
Total                                                11,68,226

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I cover health and education technology for MediaNama. Reach me at anushka@medianama.com

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