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Draft data safety policy of India’s Digital Health Mission out for public comments

The draft for Health Data Management Policy of the National Digital Health Mission (NDHM), which aims to look at data safety measures as part of India’s attempt to digitise its healthcare system, has been put in the public domain for feedback.

The National Health Authority (NHA) that is the implementing authority of the country’s flagship public health insurance scheme — Ayushman Bharat Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojna — has released the draft policy for public comments and feedback until September 3.

The draft policy has been released on the official website of NDHM (https://ndhm.gov.in/stakeholder_consultations/ndhm_policies), and will be finalised after receiving public feedback.

“The Draft Health Data Management Policy is the maiden step in realising NDHM’s guiding principle of “Security and Privacy by Design” for the protection of individual’s data privacy. It encompasses various aspects pertaining to healthcare data such as data privacy, consent management, data sharing and protection etc.,” said Dr Indu Bhushan, chief executive officer (CEO), NHA.

The objective of this draft policy is to provide adequate guidance and to set out a framework for the secure processing of personal and sensitive data of individuals, who are a part of the national digital health ecosystem in compliance with all applicable laws and international standards.

“The government is working to ensure strong privacy of healthcare data. We are circulating the policy draft to create more awareness about the importance of data privacy and instil a privacy-orientated mindset among all stakeholders and participants. I look forward to feedback, suggestions, and inputs from experts and the public to help us finalise the policy,” Bhushan added.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi had announced during the 74th Independence Day speech this year that the vision of NDHM was to create a national digital health ecosystem that would enable timely and efficient access to inclusive, affordable, and safe healthcare to all citizens.

The policy is expected to significantly improve the efficiency, effectiveness, and transparency of healthcare services in the country. – MSN

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