Letters to the editor dated September 29, 2021October 1, 2021
The nationwide launch of Ayushman Bharat Digital Mission which seeks to provide a health ID to every citizen of the country and a digital registry to facilitate seamless interactions between health care experts is welcome. Creation of Digital health ID will enable the people of the country to use IT- enabled tools to share prescriptions, blood test reports and X- ray diagnostics with doctors.
Given the glaring inadequacies in the public health infrastructure, technology alone cannot usher in revolutionary changes in the health sector. In countries like US and Australia with a robust digital infrastructure, the creation of patient and doctor-centric e-health care system is still a work in progress while in UKit was a colossal failure after it failed to address the issues related to confidentiality.
Apprehensions over patient confidentiality in the absence of a robust data protection law coupled with existing assymetrical relations between health service providers and insurance companies in the country are genuine and must be addressed with seriousness.
At first glance, a digital health ID card seems to be a pie in the sky. Our threadbare health infrastructure especially in rural areas lack bare minimum basic hygiene amenities, adequate electricity supply and healthcare workers. Given this how are they expected to diligently maintain e- health records?
Coming to urban areas where key objectives of corporate hospitals function under the profit motive, how will such digital e-cards rein in the arbitrary working of such notorious hospitals? To inspire confidence of citizens the government first and foremost ought to design a mechanism where the health infrastructure ecosystem is made accountable to the public.
With reference to the article ‘Highway of future spoilt for choice’, whether it is electric or biofuel, a greener and cleaner environment is the way forward. Road and Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari is known to be a task master so automakers must get serious about investing into ethanol, methanol blended petrol engines now.
What is required is a clear roadmap for the auto sector and its ancillary as they will expect some incentives from the government for their investments . So in the lines of FAME and PLI, the government must come out with a policy framework. So that work in that direction can start in earnest. All stakeholders need to be on the same page and their concerns or apprehensions must be addressed.
With reference to ‘Centre dissolves OFB from Oct 1, transfers assets to 7 PSUs’ (September 29), the Ministry has taken a good reformist move to reorganise the ordnance factories. This is likely to bring in greater efficiency and modernisation in their working, while streamlining decision-making. Additionally their functioning can be evaluated and compared through periodical balance sheets, P&L statements, etc., like any government owned company.
Given the crucial role of the ordnance factories in the national security setup, it is necessary that they are in the highest state of preparedness with 100 per cent efficiency and productivity, while imbibing the latest technologies and work practices.
The current reorganisation will surely be a step towards achieving these objectives.