wordpress blog stats
Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

Cabinet clears Rs 1,600 crores for ABDM as PM Modi urges private sector participation

Researchers worry that partnering with a variety of actors could lead to misuse of citizens’ health data.

India’s Union Cabinet of Ministers on February 26 cleared an allocation of Rs 1,600 crores for the nation-wide rollout of the Ayushman Bharat Digital Mission (ABDM) over a period of five years, according to a press release. A few days later, in a post-budget webinar on the health sector, Prime Minister Narendra Modi urged more private sector involvement to increase health equity and lauded existing technological interventions in health. The ABDM is the Indian government’s multi-tiered, health digitisation project.

The National Health Authority, leading the ABDM, has also repeatedly stressed greater public-private partnerships for implementing the project with an open, API-based structure so that private players can build solutions on top of it.

Where is private sector involvement needed, according to PM Modi?

In the webinar which was attended by nurses, paramedics, doctors, and other technology and research professionals from both the private and public sector, PM Modi identified three areas of the health sector as crucial:

“Firstly, expansion of infrastructure and human resources related to modern medical science. Secondly, promotion of research in traditional Indian system of medicine like AYUSH and its active engagement in the healthcare system and thirdly, providing better and affordable healthcare facilities to every person and every part of the country through modern and futuristic technology.” — PM Modi

Discuss the scope and impact of CoWIN and ABDM: Claiming that CoWIN (India’s COVID-19 vaccine management platform) is recognised worldwide, Modi said that the emergence of the ABDM would allow global access to Indian health facilities, improve medical tourism, and provide income opportunities. He further asked stakeholders to discuss the scope and impact of these initiatives.

More than 2 crore patients interacted virtually: Over 2.5 crore patients used teleconsults, telemedicine, and remote healthcare during the pandemic, Modi said. Fiber networks are being provided to villages and 5G will also be rolled out soon, he added. Modi asked the private sector to come up with suggestions on how bigger city hospitals could be connected with district level dispensaries and AYUSH (Ayurveda, Yoga and Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homeopathy) centres, and how teleconsultations could be expanded further.

Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.

Ayushman Bharat Digital Mission and concerns around private sector

Under the ABDM which was announced in August 2020, 17 crore Unique Health IDs or Ayushman Bharat Digital Accounts (ABHA) have been issued. Multiple private sector entities like Practo, DRiefcase, PayTM, Apollo hospitals, etc., have been integrated with the project to issue health IDs and handle electronic health records of enrolled citizens.

However, there have been serious concerns about the private sector’s access to health data of citizens under such massive digitisation projects.

In her paper titled “Health Data as Wealth: Understanding Patient Rights in India within a Digital Ecosystem through a Feminist Approach” researcher Radhika Radhakrishnan, found that rapid digitisation of health could limit insurance coverage for the most vulnerable. Insurance companies could normalise requiring access to data from health trackers, electronic health records, etc., to make decisions about their insurance coverage or premiums. This could take place even in the absence of proof that such practices were effective, she said.

Also Read:

Have something to add? Post your comment and gift someone a MediaNama subscription.

Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.
Written By

I cover health technology for MediaNama, among other things. Reach me at anushka@medianama.com

MediaNama’s mission is to help build a digital ecosystem which is open, fair, global and competitive.

Views

News

Looking at the definition of health data, it is difficult to verify whether health IDs are covered by the Bill.

News

The accession to the Convention brings many advantages, but it could complicate the Brazilian stance at the BRICS and UN levels.

News

In light of the state's emerging digital healthcare apparatus, how does Clause 12 alter the consent and purpose limitation model?

News

The collective implication of leaving out ‘proportionality’ from Clause 12 is to provide very wide discretionary powers to the state.

News

The latest draft is also problematic for companies or service providers that have nothing to with children's data.

You May Also Like

News

Google has released a Google Travel Trends Report which states that branded budget hotel search queries grew 179% year over year (YOY) in India, in...

Advert

135 job openings in over 60 companies are listed at our free Digital and Mobile Job Board: If you’re looking for a job, or...

News

Rajesh Kumar* doesn’t have many enemies in life. But, Uber, for which he drives a cab everyday, is starting to look like one, he...

News

By Aroon Deep and Aditya Chunduru You’re reading it here first: Twitter has complied with government requests to censor 52 tweets that mostly criticised...

MediaNama is the premier source of information and analysis on Technology Policy in India. More about MediaNama, and contact information, here.

© 2008-2021 Mixed Bag Media Pvt. Ltd. Developed By PixelVJ

Subscribe to our daily newsletter
Name:*
Your email address:*
*
Please enter all required fields Click to hide
Correct invalid entries Click to hide

© 2008-2021 Mixed Bag Media Pvt. Ltd. Developed By PixelVJ