A blueprint for better health for the country and its citizens?
India can be become an economic power only when its people are healthy
Though the blueprint aims to ensure a wider reach of healthcare services through the provision of a wide range of data, information and infrastructure services, it will not compromise on security. Measures will be in place to ensure confidentiality and privacy of health-related personal information. The health minister is seeking valuable inputs from relevant stakeholders on the blueprint to make it more inclusive.
Speaking about this, Padma Shri Awardee, Dr KK Aggarwal, President, HCFI, said, "There is a wide gap in the availability of healthcare service in the country. On one hand, India is fast becoming the hub of medial tourism, whereas in a sharp contrast, healthcare including essential healthcare is still out of reach for many of the citizens. The highly priced private healthcare is inaccessible to many; yet many seek healthcare in the private sector, and often find themselves in financial trouble. Universal health coverage is the answer to affordable healthcare of quality in developing countries like India. We hope this blueprint will take off from where Ayushman Bharat was left last year and ensure that quality and access to healthcare is not just a small part of the election mandate but a very important aspect. We hope to see some progress in this direction."
Achieving universal health coverage is a target under the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG 3) "to achieve universal health coverage, including financial risk protection, access to quality essential health-care services and access to safe, effective, quality and affordable essential medicines and vaccines for all (3.8)."
Adding further, Dr Aggarwal, who is also the Vice President of CMAAO, said, "India is far from attaining universal health coverage, which is affordable, accessible, available, appropriate and accountable. If we aspire to be a global superpower and become one of the largest economies in the world, the health of citizens needs to be improved. Healthy citizens can contribute much more to the growth of a nation. We hope the blueprint will be a positive step in this direction."
The National Digital Health Blueprint can be accessed at www.mohfw.gov.in for eliciting feedback, inputs or comments from all stakeholders. The report will be available for the next three weeks.
Dr K K Aggarwal