Modicare’s another first: Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana becomes 1st healthcare scheme with privacy policy

By: | Published: August 29, 2018 11:18 AM

Beneficiaries of the scheme can demand access to the copies of their personal data or any other information on activites carried out with their personal data. They also have rights to ask for restriction of access or withdraw their consent for accessing their personal data.

ayushman bharat, healthAyushman Bharat or Modicare was announced by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley in the Budget 2018.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ambitious healthcare scheme Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Abhiyaan, also known as Ayushman Bharat or Modicare, has become the first healthcare program in the country to have its own data privacy policy. Notably, the health scheme is slated to be rolled out from September 25 on the birth anniversary of Pandit Deendayal Upadhyay.

According to a report by The Indian Express, the National Health Agency (NHA), which is the implementing authority of PMJAY, has put in place 100 controls including authorisation, authentication, passwords, firewalls and data encryption to protect the data of the estimated 50 crore citizens to be benefited from the program.

The healthcare program has included several principles, including curbs on the collection and purposes for which personal data can be used, from the data protection report that was submitted by the panel headed by Justice BN Srikrishna last month.

NHA will be responsible to form a committee to be called “Data Privacy Committee” headed by a Data Privacy Officer. The proposed committee would have three members and will be responsible for reviewing the compliance with the Data Privacy Policy.

Meanwhile, Ayushman Bharat CEO Indu Bhushan said, “We will be dealing with a lot of personal health data and also Aadhaar information so we need to make sure that the collection storage and use of that data is done in a foolproof way. We need to make sure that the process of consent is free, transparent and fair.”

Also, beneficiaries of the scheme can demand access to the copies of their personal data or any other information on activities carried out with their personal data. They also have rights to ask for restriction of access or withdraw their consent for accessing their personal data. Moreover, the health data is also can not be used or provided to employers, insurers, HR consultants, pharma companies or to any other person or authority for commercial use.

Ayushman Bharat was announced by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley in the Budget 2018.  Under the scheme, poor and vulnerable families will be provided a health coverage of upto Rs 5 lakh per family annually for hospitalisation costs.

The beneficiaries under the scheme can avail benefits in both public and empanelled private facilities. The scheme subsumed centrally-funded state-level Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojana, which provided a coverage of Rs 1-2 lakh to about 3.63 crore families in the fiscal year 2016-17.

Union Health Minister J P Nadda unveiled the PMJAY logo on Monday, August 28. A total of 29 states and union territories have inked the Memorandum of Understanding (MoUs) and have started working on implementation of the scheme.

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