Health Sector – UHC, National Health Policy, Family Planning, Health Insurance, etc.

Changing India’s health delivery landscape through NDHM


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level: NDHM

Mains level: Paper 2- National Digital Health Mission

The National Digital Health Mission promises to transform the Indian healthcare system with the aid of technology. The article highlights the key aspects of the mission.

Building integrated digital health infrastructure through NDHM

  • NDHM is based on the principles of health for all, inclusivity, accessibility, affordability, education, empowerment, wellness, portability, privacy and security by design.
  • NDHM will build the backbone necessary to create an integrated digital health infrastructure.
  • With its key building blocks HealthID, DigiDoctor, Health Facility Registry, Personal Health Records, Telemedicine, and e-Pharmacy, the mission will bring together disparate stakeholders and radically strengthen and, thus change India’s healthcare delivery landscape.
  • NDHM is also a purposeful step towards the achievement of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goal of Universal Health Coverage.

Importance of digital intervention in health service

  • Digital interventions significantly enhance the outcomes of every health service delivery programme.
  • Importance of digital intervention is demonstrated in the Ayushman Bharat Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana scheme.
  • Under PM-JAY, 1.2 crore cashless secondary and tertiary care treatments have been provided using an indigenously developed state-of-the-art IT platform.
  • The Arogya Setu mobile app deploys ICT innovations for contract tracing.

Principal highlight of NDHM

1) Voluntary in nature

  • HealthID is entirely voluntary for citizens.
  • Its absence will not mean denial of healthcare to a citizen.
  • They can choose to generate their Health Account or ID using their Aadhaar card or digitally authenticable mobile number and by using their basic address-related details and email ID.
  • The use of Aadhaar, therefore, is not mandatory.

2) Data sharing based on consent

  • Providing access to and sharing of personal health records is a prerogative of the HealthID holder.
  • The consent of the health data owner is required to access this information or a part of it.The consent can be withdrawn anytime.
  • The personal health record will enable citizens to store and access their health data, provide them with more comprehensive information and empower them with control over their private health records.

3) Compliance with laws and fundamental rights

  • NDHM has been built within a universe of fundamental rights and legislation such as the Aadhaar Act and the IT Act 2008 as well as the Personal Data Protection Bill 2019.
  • This project is also informed by the entire gamut of Supreme Court judgments and core democratic principles of cooperative federalism.
  • The Mission gets its strategic and technical foundation from the National Digital Health Blueprint, the architectural framework of which keeps the overall vision of NHP 2017 at its core and ensures security and privacy by design.

4) Reaching out to the unconnected population

  •  NHDM is a digital mission led by technology powered by the internet.
  • So, to reach out to and empower the large number of “unconnected” masses specialised systems are being built and off-line modules that will be designed to reach out to the “unconnected”.

5) Partnership with all key stakeholders

  • The design of NDHM has been built on the principle of partnership with all key stakeholders — doctors, health service providers, technology solution providers and above all citizens.
  • Without their belief, trust, adoption, and stewardship, this mission will not achieve its desired result.

Consider the question “Examine the key aspects of the National Digital Heath Mission and how it could help transform the Indian healthcare landscape?”


NDHM is a mission whose time has come because health is the first step towards self-reliance and only a healthy nation can become Atma Nirbhar.

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