In Himachal Pradesh, Chief Minister Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu announced during the closing ceremony of the annual program 'Stimulus' at Indira Gandhi Medical College that health cards will be provided to every citizen of the state by November 30, 2023. This announcement is a progressive movement in the health sector and for citizens of Himachal Pradesh as well.
Health cards are basically digital cards in which the patient's whole data is available and easily accessible, which is beneficial for citizens as they can easily access their medical records, such as lab reports, prescriptions from different doctors, and diagnosis reports from hospitals and insurance companies. Moreover, it’s a cashless scheme whose entire cost is borne by the state government with no contribution from the beneficiary, which is beneficial for the person who is not able to pay the high amount of diagnosis and treatment of the diseases. In which there is no third party or agent included, cashless OPD and paperless reimbursement are also available.
Health data is saved in a three-tier storage system that includes the Electronic Medical Record (EMR), Electronic Health Records (EHR), and Personal Health Records (PHR). At a medical facility, the Electronic Medical Record, or EMR, is essentially a system that is used to diagnose and treat patients. According to the new regulations, this is the simplest way to save health data. EMR must be updated in accordance with NDHM to store data. The EHR, or Electronic Health Records, is the second level of classification and will include patient records from various physicians and providers that are integrated into the current healthcare system. The user interface is known as PHR, or Personal Health Records, and it allows the user to easily create, update, and alter their health records.
Such a scheme is not only available in Himachal Pradesh but also in other states of India with different names. For instance, the West Bengal CM launched it with the Swsthya Sathi scheme name, and the Uttar Pradesh government also operated the Pandit Deendayal Upadhyay State Employees Cashless Medical Scheme.
Many other countries are also attempting to adopt the digital healthcare ID card, much like India. Numerous factors, such as diagnosis, allergies, immunization status, test results, vital signs, personal data, etc., are maintained in the EHR. With this information readily available, the time-consuming registration process at each hospital might be removed. A comparable project was started in Russia in 2011. The system, known as UMIAS (Unified Medical Information and Analytical System), links 23,600 medical professionals and over 660 clinics in Moscow alone. About patients: UMIAS possesses about 359 million patient records and data on 9.5 million individuals. Most European citizens also have their own healthcare ID cards. The main goal of these digital health cards is to centralize them for citizens and make them easily accessible throughout the continent. This European Health Insurance Card is issued free to all residents of 32 countries and entities, and they made an app where details or explanations of the program in 24 languages are available. Also, in Algeria, more than 7 million people use health cards similarly. Kenya, Taiwan, and Japan have also embraced this type of scheme for a better health system.
(Input from various media sources)