#ParliamentUpdate: Rajya Sabha Question on the National Digital Health Ecosystem

#InRajyaSabha on July 25, 2023

MP Pudukkottai M.M. Abdulla asked Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) if adequate technical and organisational measures across the National Digital Health Ecosystem are being implemented to safeguard personal data, and inquired about the status of its implementation.

SP Singh Baghel, MOS Health & Family Welfare said there is no centralised repository of data as ‘privacy by design’ is one of the key guiding principles of the Ayushman Bharat Digital Mission (ABDM), which facilitates secure data exchange after the patient’s consent.

National Digital Health Ecosystem Answer 1
National Digital Health Ecosystem Answer 2

The Minister, in his response, iterated the privacy protections available under the Health Data Management Policy (HDMP) released by MoHFW , which states that no data shall be shared with any other entity without consent.

The answer is unsatisfactory as the HDMP has a myriad of flaws. Last year, IFF highlighted concerns about user privacy, consent, and control over one’s health data, in their response to the Ayushman NHA’s 2nd draft of the HDMP.