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National Health Authority seeks Aadhaar data to identify health insurance beneficiaries

The health agency is pushing for database integration, although some states are reportedly yet to come around.

The National Health Authority (NHA) has sought Aadhaar and other details of beneficiaries under the National Food Security Act (NFSA), in a letter sent to the Director of the Department of Food and Public Distribution (DoFPD) on January 5. Deficiencies in the Socio-Economic Caste Census (SECC) require it to be mapped with Aadhaar and NFSA data to identify beneficiaries under the AB-PMJAY (public health insurance scheme), NHA CEO RS Sharma wrote in the letter. Subsequently, the DoFPD director urged states and Union Territories to share this data with the NHA using API integration. However, several state governments were reluctant to do so, owing to confusion around whether Aadhaar data can be shared freely within ministries, according to minutes from a meeting between the NHA and the Unique Identificatory Authority of India (UIDAI) held on January 4. Officials from the National Informatics Centre, IT Ministry, and DoPFD also attended the meeting. The NHA has denied any reservations among states on this issue, saying that "the process of database sharing has already commenced in several States/UTs." In October last year, the UIDAI allowed central government departments to share masked Aadhaar information between themselves for similar identification of beneficiaries under different schemes. Privacy advocates expressed concerns, saying that it could lead to the creation of family databases and hence, reuse data that was collected for another purpose. Questions around sharing of masked Aadhaar data NFSA ration card data from 18 states is already being shared with the NHA to identify beneficiaries over the last 18…

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I cover health technology for MediaNama but, really, love all things tech policy. Always willing to chat with a reader! Reach me at anushka@medianama.com

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