To improve the healthcare system in India Information and Communication Technologies have been implemented.Some of the initiatives are:
National eHealth Authority
National eHealth Authority (NeHA) is a proposed body as a promotional, regulatory and standards setting organization to guide and support India’s journey in e-Health and consequent realization of benefits of ICT(Information and Communication Technology) intervention in Health sector in an orderly way.
Health Management Information System
To monitor the performance and quality of the health services being provided under the NHM, it is important to introduce mechanisms that would strengthen the monitoring and evaluation systems, through performance statistics, surveys, community monitoring, quality assurance etc.
The Health Statistics Information Portal facilitates the flow of physical and financial performance from the District level to the State HQ and the Centre using a web based Health Management Information System (HMIS) interface. The portal will provide periodic reports on the status of the health sector.
Electronic Health Records
An electronic health record (EHR) is a digital version of a patient’s paper chart.
EHRs are real-time, patient-centered records that make information available instantly and securely to authorized users.
While an EHR does contain the medical and treatment histories of patients, an EHR system is built to go beyond standard clinical data collected in a provider’s office and can be inclusive of a broader view of a patient’s care.
Introducing and streamlining EHR in Indian health care would help government address Health care from a futuristic approach than a causal one.
To provide healthcare facilities in rural areas, the government today launched a telemedicine initiative in collaboration with Apollo Hospitals under which people can consult doctors through video link.
The CSCs will also provide diagnostic services and promote sale of generic drugs through collaboration with Ministry of Health, by setting up Jan Aasudhi Stores.
Advantages of Information and Communication Technology in Health Care are:
• Improved timeliness (better quality of healthcare delivery)
• Effectiveness (right intervention / audit trails for adverse events)
• Efficiency (less resources in terms of manpower, time and cost)
• Informed patients and their caregivers
• Better access
• Diagnostic accuracy
• Reduced waiting times
• Better referral management
Health geo-mapping project
• Lack of authentic data on healthcare resources has long been one of the biggest impediments to health planning in India. It is universally acknowledged that doctors and health facilities are far more easily available in urban than in rural areas but there has never been an attempt in the past to quantify the gap in density and to plan accordingly.
• For the first time, the government will map health facilities, doctors and specialists available in all districts of the country. The health geo-mapping project has already been completed in four districts chosen as a pilot. When the entire country is covered, the project will cost around Rs 100 crore.
• The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is partnering the project.
• The four districts that have been covered by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation are Hazaribagh (Jharkhand), Vellore (Tamil Nadu), Dungarpur (Rajasthan) and Dimapur (Nagaland). Both government and private health facilities will be mapped, as will be availability and distribution of chemists.
• In the first phase, the government is looking at covering eight states though the names are yet to be finalised.
• The mapping of specialists would also ensure that in future planning for medical education, the skewed distribution of seats — specialties such as oncology have very few doctors passing out every year because of the low number of seats — could be addressed keeping in mind the health profile of the country.
Project sunrise for AIDS
• Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has launched Project Sunrise on for prevention of AIDS in the 8 North-Eastern states. The funding of project is done by the Centre for Disease Control of the United States.
• The objective of this AIDS prevention project is to diagnose 90 per cent of such drug addicts with HIV and put them under treatment by 2020.
• The project will create more awareness about the disease in these N-E states.
• This programme will be implemented in 20 districts of the eight states including four districts of Manipur- Imphal East, Bishnupur, Ukhrul and Churachandpur.
• The project will cover one lakh people suffering with HIV/AIDS the government will provide them treatment and care facilities free of cost.
• In addition with the existing projects of the National AIDS Control Organization (NACO) it will also be implemented in the North East
• NACO will unswervingly reassign its funding to State AIDS Control Societies as a substitute of the existing system for financial support through state governments.
AIDS Control programs in India
• Setting up of State AIDS bodies in 25 states and 7 union territories in 1992.
• India’s first National AIDS Control Programme NACP-I was launched in 1992.
• National AIDS Control Organization (NACO) was put into operation.
• The National AIDS Committee was formed in the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.
2nd national Deworming initiative launched
• The Ministry of Health and family welfare has launched the national deworming initiative on the eve of the National deworming day.
• This will be a path breaking initiative focused primarily to reduce the threat of parasitic worm infections and other forms of stomach worms seen in millions of children across the nation.
• The target is to make India worm free by deworming all pre-school and school age children between the ages of 1 to 19 years. In the first phase nearly 14 crore children across 11 states and union territories will be covered and in the second phase around 10 crore will be covered the remaining will be covered by the mop up round.
• The National Deworming Initiative was launched first in 2015 in a few states of India to protect children in the age group of 1-19 form intestinal worms. This year onwards, this will cover all the states in the country.
• The target has now been extended to benefit more than 270 million children in 536 districts of the country.
• It started with implementation in 11 States and Union Territories (UTs) covering all Government and Government-aided schools and Anganwadi centres targeting children aged 1 to 19 years and now aims to cover the whole country.
• It focuses on parasitic worms which interfere with nutrient intake in children and can contribute to anaemia, malnourishment, and impaired mental and physical development.
• National Deworming Initiative will mobilise health personnel, state governments and other stakeholders to prioritise investment in control of Soil Transmitted Helminth (STH) infections, while highlighting that apart from the most effective and low-cost STH treatment of administering Albendazole tablets, behaviour change practises in terms of cleanliness and hygiene are also important to reduce incidents of re-infection.
• Community mobilisation and outreach efforts are also underway at the state and local level, to engage community-based health workers, like ASHAs, Gram Sabhas and others, to spread awareness and encourage participation in the program.
• Rotavirus is a virus that infects the bowels. Children under five years of age, especially those between 6 months and two years are most vulnerable to this disease. Rotaviruses are estimated to be responsible for approximately 5, 27,000 deaths each year, with more than 85% of these deaths occurring in low-income countries in Africa and Asia, and over two million are hospitalized each year with pronounced dehydration.
• Rotavirus affects populations in all socio-economic groups and is equally prevalent in industrialized and developing countries.
• The new vaccine ROTAVAC has been developed under an innovative public-private partnership model. It involved partnership between the Ministry of Science and Technology, the institutions of the US Government, various government institutions and NGOs in India, supported by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
• ROTAVAC is an oral vaccine and is administered to infants in a three-dose course at the ages of 6, 10, and 14 weeks. It is given alongside routine immunizations in the UIP vaccines recommended at these ages.
• It is on the World Health Organization’s List of Essential Medicines, a list of the most important medication needed in a basic health system.
Smart drug is a term given to those medicines or drugs which help any person to stay awake or increase one’s physical and mental capacity. Hence termed as SMART.
Reason for taking smart drugs
• Helps to keep alert
• Increase productivity
• High stress lives
• To work for long hours
• To work harder
• For studies
• Increasing efficiency in the work
• Some use as an effective way to deal with jet lags
Swachh Swasth Sarvatra initiative
Union Government launched Swachh Swasth Sarvatra initiative to strengthen health centres in open defecation-free (ODF) blocks. The objective of this initiative is to strengthen community health centres in 708 ODF blocks across the country to enable them to achieve higher levels of cleanliness and hygiene.
Swasthya Raksha Programme
The Union AYUSH Ministry has launched ‘Swasthya Raksha Programme’ to promote health and health education in villages.
Aims and objectives of Swasthya Raksha Programme
• Organize Swasthya Parikshan Camps, Swasthya Rakshan OPDs and Health and Hygiene awareness programme
• Create awareness about cleanliness of domestic surroundings and environment.
• Provide medical aid and incidental support in the adopted villages and colonies.
• Document demographic information, hygiene conditions, food habits, seasons, lifestyle etc., incidence and prevalence of disease and their relation to the incidence of disease.
• Assess health status and propagation of Ayurvedic concept of pathya-apathya and extension of health care services.
Ministry/Department : Ministry of Health and Family Welfare
- It is Centrally Sponsored health insurance scheme.
- The scheme will integrate two on-going centrally sponsored schemes viz. Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojana (RSBY) and Senior Citizen Health Insurance Scheme (SCHIS).
- AB-NHPM aims to target over 10 crore families belonging to poor and vulnerable population based on SocioEconomic and Caste Census 2011 (SECC) database.
- It will provide cover of Rs 5 lakh per family per year, taking care of almost all secondary care and tertiary care procedures.
- There will be no cap on family size and age in the scheme.
- It includes pre and post-hospitalisation expenses.
- It will cover all pre-existing conditions from beginning of the policy.
- It will also pay defined transport allowance per hospitalization to the beneficiary.
- The scheme allows the beneficiary to take cashless benefits from any public or private empanelled hospitals across the country.
- The payment for treatment will be done on package rate which will be defined by Government in advance basis.
- The package rates will include all the costs associated with treatment.
Role of state governments:
- They will be allowed to expand the scheme both horizontally and vertically.
- They will be free to choose modalities for implementation.
- They can implement through insurance company or directly through Trust/ Society or a mixed model.
- States/UTs will have also flexibility to modify these rates within limited bandwidth.
- For beneficiaries, it will be cashless and paper less transaction.
- States will be required to form State Health Agency (SHA) to implement scheme and at district level also, a structure for implementation of the scheme will be set up
- For giving policy directions and fostering coordination between Centre and States, Ayushman Bharat National Health Protection Mission Council (AB-NHPMC) will be set up at apex level.
- It will be chaired by Union Health and Family Welfare Minister.
- It is entitlement based scheme with entitlement decided on basis of deprivation criteria in SECC database.
- Different categories of families covered under scheme are
- Families having only one room with kucha walls and kucha roof,
- families having no adult member between age 16 to 59,
- female headed households with no adult male member between age 16 to 59,
- disabled member and no able bodied adult member in family,
- SC/ST households,
- landless households deriving major part of their income from manual casual labour.