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National Digital Health Mission: Govt approves policy for data protection

National Digital Health Mission

The Centre has approved the health data management policy pertaining to National Digital Health Mission (NDHM). The policy that acts as a guidance document across the National Digital Health Ecosystem (NDHE), sets out the minimum standard for data privacy protection that should be followed across the board in order to ensure compliance with relevant and applicable laws, rules and regulations.

Data collected across the NDHE will be stored in at the central level, the state or Union Territory level and at the health facility level, by adopting the principle of minimality at each point, as per a TOI report. “This policy is to be read along with, and not in contradiction to, any law, or any instrument having the effect of any law together with the blueprint, the information security policy, the data retention and archival policy and any other policy which may be issued for the implementation of the NDHM,” the government said “This policy is not to be interpreted as giving any entity or individual rights which are greater than those that such entity or individual would be entitled to under applicable laws,” the government said in a statement. The draft of the policy was placed on the website by National Health Authority (NHA) from 20th August to 21st September to seek feedback and suggestions from citizens and stakeholders soon after the launch of NDHM by the Prime Minister. After extensive stakeholder consultations and feedback, the policy was given further shape by incorporating the inputs from the public.

The provisions of this policy will apply to the entities involved in the NDHM and those who are a part of the NDHE, that includes all entities and individuals who have been issued an ID under this policy, healthcare professionals, governing bodies of the health ministry, the NHA, relevant professional bodies and regulators.

Also read: NDHM: Beckoning quality universal healthcare in India

National Health Authority (NHA) is the apex government agency which has been entrusted to implement the NDHM across the country. The Ayushman Bharat-Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (AB PM-JAY) was also rolled out and implemented by the same agency.

The NDHM was announced by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Independence Day this year. Soon after, the draft of the policy was placed on the website by National Health Authority (NHA) from 20th August to 21st September to seek feedback and suggestions from citizens and stakeholders.

After extensive stakeholder consultations and feedback, the policy was given further shape by incorporating the inputs from the public.

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