New Delhi, 10 July 2018: In a recent development, the NITI Aayog has unveiled the blueprint of National Health Stack (NHS), a shared digital healthcare infrastructure. This is in line with the implementation of the Centre’s flagship scheme Ayushman Bharat and other public healthcare programmes in the country. Among the key components of NHS are national electronic health registries, a coverage and claims platform, personal health records framework, national health analytics platform and Digital ID. It is expected to boost the creation of healthcare solutions based on technology.
The Niti Aayog has invited comments from all stakeholders on its draft consultation paper titled ‘National Health Stack Strategy an Approach’. The NHS will facilitate collection of comprehensive healthcare data across the country. Ayushman Bharat aims to provide an annual coverage of Rs 5 lakh per family and benefit more than 10 crore poor families.
Speaking about this, Padma Shri Awardee, Dr KK Aggarwal, President, HCFI, said, “Digitization is happening across all sectors and the health sector in particular, stands to gain a lot from such initiatives. The introduction of a shared digital healthcare infrastructure will take healthcare to the next level in India. Right from maintaining patient records and seamlessly integrating data across various platforms, to using technology in making healthcare more accessible across the length and breadth of the country, the NHS will accrue varied benefits. Any health policy has two objectives: firstly, to enhance the health of the population and secondly, to reduce the financial risk for those accessing treatment. In the first, success is measured by a reduction in the disease burden and increase in people’s longevity. Success in access to treatment is measured by reduced spending. Ayushman Bharat seeks to address both these critical health goals.”
Once implemented, it is expected that the NHS will significantly bring down the costs of health protection, converge disparate systems to ensure a cashless and seamlessly integrated experience for the poorest beneficiaries, and promote wellness across the population.
Adding further, Dr Aggarwal, who is also the Vice President of CMAAO, said, “Considering the paucity of resources in India, there is a need to prioritize critical initiatives in order to realize these health goals. It is, therefore, imperative to contextualize and synchronize the implementation of Ayushman Bharat and its surrounding policies with a reform agenda that must include improved governance and an enforcement of regulations.”
Some other aspects of Ayushman Bharat
• The programme will cover half a billion people and would align with what the State governments are doing already, with significant resources coming from the Centre.
• Many state governments would extend the benefits to additional beneficiaries through their own resources so that ultimately the population covered for catastrophic expenses could be two-thirds of India’s population, if not more.
• This mission enables increased access to in-patient health care for the poor and lower middle class.
• The access to health care is cashless and nationally portable.
• Treatment will be provided by empaneled public and private hospitals.
• Private hospitals will have to agree to terms such as package rates, adherence to standards and guidelines, ethical practice, respectful care and client satisfaction, and transparency.