Launching health portal

Is there anything more important than your health? If your health is not taken care of properly, you may end up or face serious issues for the remainder of your life. Health care should be within the reach of everyone.

For providing basic health facilities to all its citizens, the government has introduced and implemented various health schemes and programmes and this includes a much awaited National Health Portal (NPH) scheduled to be launched on October 2013.

The NHP is a Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare Project, The portal is intended to plug in the healthcare gaps through the effective use of IT.

Speaking at a roundtable discussion on the NHP project, Dr Sarbadhikari Nath Sarbadhikari, Project Director, said the threefold objectives of the National Health Portal are to improve the health literacy of the masses in India, improve access to health services across the nation, and decrease the burden of disease by educating the people on the preventive aspects of disease.

Expressing concern and  interest in pushing through  this novel service for better accessibility of healthcare facilities for everyone  ,  officials from the ministry charted the goal and the road map to achieve it.  However, Rajendra Pratap Gupta, chairman, HIMSS Asia Pacific India Chapter, shared his concern and caution that the NHP has the potential to help in channelizing  health information by exposing the entire gamut of  health choices before the citizens. He further suggested  that the NHP should become a nodal point and single source of credible information for everyone. Given the power and potential of  internet broad band and the growing use of mobile broad band, he suggested that NHP should be tailored accordingly.

He further emphasized,  This project has the potential to re-develop and hone up the Indian healthcare system completely, provided the government takes all the necessary measures to address the different dynamics of the Indian population. About 330 million people in the country live below the poverty line and about 300 million people are illiterate, besides only one per cent of the rural Indians have access to computers with internet. Thus we strongly believe that the NHP portal should aim to service these segments of the population through innovative ways.

The meeting concluded with the focus on the need of  e-health policy in the light of development of the healthcare information technology that could be  integrated with Aadhar

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