Union Health Secretary highlights India's advancements in digital health

He made the remarks during the side event on Digital Health organised by QUAD nations (India, Australia, US and Japan) during the ongoing 77th World Health Assembly.


ANI | Updated: 29-05-2024 22:42 IST | Created: 29-05-2024 22:42 IST
Union Health Secretary highlights India's advancements in digital health
Union Health Secretary Apurva Chandra delivers address at side event on Digital Health (Image Credit: X/@IndiaUNGeneva). Image Credit: ANI
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Union Health Secretary Apurva Chandra outlined India's advancements in digital health. He highlighted India's success in implementing digital public infrastructure at scale like Aadhaar for digital identities, the Unified Payments Interface (UPI) for financial transactions and effective health service delivery with CoWIN during the COVID-19 pandemic. He made the remarks during the side event on Digital Health organised by QUAD nations (India, Australia, US and Japan) on the sidelines of the 77th World Health Assembly. In his address, Apurva Chandra emphasised the transformative role of digital health in ensuring equitable and accessible healthcare services, contributing to universal health coverage, and achievement of Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 3, that is good health and well being.

Union Health Secretary said that COWIN is being transformed into UWIN for the National Immunization Programme. It will help in linking and providing immunization record of 30 million newborns and mothers every year followed by Anganwadi and school health record, according to Ministry of Health and Family press release. The event witnessed participation of delegates from over 100 countries highlighting collaborative efforts in advancing digital public infrastructure globally. The purpose of the event was to emphasise the transformative potential of digital public infrastructure for addressing social determinants of health.

During the event, Apurva Chandra highlighted India's effort under the Ayushman Bharat Digital Mission (ABDM). He also spoke about other initiatives launched by the Indian government to address health gaps using digital health, according to Ministry of Health and Family press release. In the press release, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare stated, "With over 618 million Unique Health IDs (ABHA IDs) generated, 268,000 health facilities registered, and 350,000 healthcare professionals enlisted, ABDM exemplifies India's commitment to digital healthcare."

"He added that as part of ABDM, Government of India is launching the National Health Claims Exchange (NHCX) to transform the insurance payments ecosystem leveraging the public private partnership built on top of the digital public infrastructure. It will usher in the era of real time settlements with auto adjudication of claims," the release added. Apurva Chandralso spoke about other initiatives launched by the Indian government to address health gaps using digital health. He stressed that India's approach to leveraging Digital Public Infrastructure (DPI) not only transforms healthcare delivery but also fosters a resilient, equitable society. He called for global collaboration to harness digital technologies for a healthier, more inclusive future.

He stated, "AB PMJAY (Ayushman Bharat Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana) is the world's largest public funded health assurance scheme providing a health cover of Rs 500,000 (Rs 5 Lakh) to 550 million (55 crore) needy and vulnerable population. The scheme has provided 70 million (7 crore) treatments worth USD 11.2 Billion (Rs 89000 crore)." "e-Sanjeevani, the world's largest telemedicine initiative, serving 241 million patients, including 57 per cent women and 12 per cen senior citizens has led to savings of USD 2.15 billion in out-of-pocket expenses", he added.

He also underscored that the NI-KSHAY initiative for TB management and the SAKSHAM online learning platform for health professionals were pivotal digital health innovations. During the event, India's Permanent Representative to India at Geneva, Arindam Bagchi, highlighted India's commitment to leveraging digital technology to enhance healthcare accessibility and efficiency.

Permanent Representative of the US to United Nations and Other International Organizations in Geneva, Bathsheba N. Crocker, Permanent Representative of Japan to UN at Geneva, Atsuyuki Oike and Blair Exell, Deputy Secretary, Health Strategy, First Nations and Sport, Department of Health, Australia, shared their views on the experiences and contributions of their respective countries to digital health. The diplomats of US, Japan and Australia emphasized the importance of international cooperation in harnessing digital solutions for global health challenges.

Basant Garg, Additional CEO, National Health Authority, Govt of India, showcased India's experiences with building robust Digital Public Infrastructure environment with a brief presentation. He presented an overview of the key components and functionalities of the infrastructure, demonstrating how it facilitates seamless health data exchange, improves service delivery, and enhances patient outcomes. He spoke about India's journey in building a robust digital health ecosystem and its potential to serve as a model for other countries.

The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare stated, "The side event underscored the pivotal role of digital health, particularly the digital public infrastructure approach in shaping the future of global healthcare and India emerging as a Pioneer in citizen-centric Digital Health ecosystem." The event concluded with another presentation by Alain Labrique, Director, Digital Health an Innovation, World Health Organisation (WHO), who lauded the giant leap taken by India in implementing Digital Public Infrastructure and demonstrating its ability in facilitating Health care delivery at scale. He also highlighted the efforts of WHO in supporting countries in digital transformation in health.

Hekali Zhimomi, Additional Secretary, Union Health Ministry, Aradhana Patnaik, Additional Secretary and Managing Director (NHM), Union Health Ministry and other senior officials of the Union Health Ministry were present at the event. The 77th session of the World Health Assembly (WHA) is being held in Geneva from May 27 to June 1. It is an annual event organised by the WHO, in which 194 countries participate to structure the global health ecosystem.

The theme for this year's World Health Assembly is "All for Health, Health for All" and comprises of sessions in 3 main committees - Plenary, Committee A (Chaired by India) and Committee B. (ANI)

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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