Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan on Sunday said participation in the digital health ecosystem shall be totally optional and shall never be made mandatory for individuals, while asserting that it is a "lie that those who do not become part of the system shall not be allowed to access the hospitals".
He said this while answering questions from his social media followers on the "Sunday Samvad" platform.
Vardhan said the National Digital Health Mission (NDHM) is one of the most ambitious programmes of the government and is set to catapult the country to the position of a global leader in the field of digital health, according to a statement issued by the Union health ministry.
"However, there are vested interests that do not want India to succeed and are spearheading a disinformation campaign against the NDHM," he was quoted as saying in the statement.
Allaying fears, the minister clarified that it is an utter lie that those who do not become part of the system shall not be allowed to access the hospitals, the statement said.
"Those persons or institutions who are not a part of this system shall continue to enjoy access to the healthcare system in exactly the same manner as they are doing now.
"Participation in the digital health ecosystem shall be totally optional and shall never be made mandatory for individuals," he underscored.
The ambitious NDHM programme was announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his Independence Day speech on August 15.
According to the programme, everyone enrolled for the mission will get a health ID that will ease access to medical services.
The National Health Authority (NHA), the apex agency responsible for the implementation of the Ayushman Bharat Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (AB-PMJAY), has been given the mandate by the government to design, build, roll out and implement the NDHM in the country.
The health ID will contain information about medical data, prescriptions and diagnostic reports and summaries of previous discharges from hospitals for ailments. The mission is expected to bring efficiency and transparency in healthcare services in the country.
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