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Digital interventions have huge potential for supporting universal health coverage: Nadda

Digital interventions have huge potential for supporting universal health coverage: Nadda

New Delhi, Feb 25 (PTI) Digital interventions have a huge potential for supporting universal health coverage, to which the government is committed, Union Health Minister J P Nadda said Monday. Speaking at the inauguration of the 4th Global Digital Health Partnership Summit here, Nadda said the entire healthcare system in India and the world was undergoing a rapid transformation. "The way we know of healthcare being delivered and accessed is poised to change for better. Digital health interventions are accelerating this transformation. It has a huge potential for supporting universal health coverage (UHC) for which the Government of India is committed," he said. Union Minister of Law and Justice and Electronics and Information Technology Ravi Shankar Prasad and health ministers from several countries attended the event. Prasad spoke about the use of technological innovations in transforming healthcare and highlighted various initiatives of the government towards digital healthcare. He said that India is committed to reaching the last man in the line through digital health interventions and digital inclusion. "Digital governance is good governance and bridging a digital divide must be achieved through technology that is low cost," he added. Nadda said India under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi was committed to securing universal health coverage with the twin pillars of health and well-ness centres at primary and secondary levels of healthcare and Ayushman Bharat Yojana or PM-Jan Aarogya Yojana (PMJAY) at the tertiary level. "I am happy to share that after the roll-out of 'Modicare' (Ayushman Bharat), in merely 155 days, nearly 1.3 million people have availed the benefits of more than Rs 16 billion under this scheme," he said. Nadda said Ayushman Bharat is primarily dependent on maximising the use of digital tools for effective implementation and monitoring. The scheme is completely digital wherein all the processes from beneficiary identification to hospital empanelment and settlement of claims are done electronically. Hence all the benefits of the scheme are delivered in a mode that is cashless, paperless and completely transparent for all stakeholders, he said. He said India took the world stage at the 71st World Health Assembly in Geneva, Switzerland by successfully introducing and unanimous adoption of the Resolution on Digital Health. This resolution highlighted global attention to the potential, challenges and opportunities of digital health interventions and the need for closer collaboration on the issue globally for countries achieving health-related Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) targets as well as the World Health Organization's implementation of 13th General Program of Work. He said that the Health Ministry is in the process of establishing an Integrated Health Information Platform for inter-operability amongst various health IT systems and a pan-India exchange of electronic health records of citizens ensuring privacy, security, and confidentiality of data. The same is to be supplemented by a pan-Indian network of disease surveillance, tele-medicine and tele-radiology and tele-education, he said. The global intergovernmental meeting on digital health is being hosted by the Ministry of Health, in collaboration with the WHO and the Global Digital Health Partnership (GDHP).The Ministerial Conclave discussed the implication of digital health interventions to health services accessibility, quality and affordability and explored ways of leveraging digital health technologies to strengthen the healthcare delivery systems globally.The Global Digital Health Partnership (GDHP) is an international collaboration of governments, government agencies and multinational organisations dedicated to improving the health and well-being of their citizens through the best use of evidence-based digital technologies. PTI PLB SMN