NITI Aayog recently released a white paper ‘Vision 2035: Public Health Surveillance in India’ that talks about having a better data-sharing mechanism between the Centre and states, while ensuring individual privacy and confidentiality.
“The Covid-19 pandemic has provided us with an opportunity to revisit (re)-emerging diseases due to increased interaction between human-animal-environment. Early identification of this interference is essential to break the chain of transmissions and create a resilient surveillance system,” said an official statement.
Released by Dr Rajiv Kumar, Vice Chairman, NITI Aayog; Dr Vinod K Paul, Member (Health); Amitabh Kant CEO, NITI Aayog and Dr Rakesh Sarwal, Additional Secretary, NITI Aayog, the document envisions a citizen-friendly public health system, which will involve stakeholders at all levels, be it individual, community, health care facilities or laboratories, all while protecting the individual’s privacy and confidentiality.
According to the white paper, surveillance will be primarily based on de-identified (anonymised) individual-level patient information that emanates from health care facilities, laboratories and other sources. It will be governed by an adequately resourced effective administrative and technical structure and will ensure that it serves the public good.
This vision document on India’s Public Health Surveillance by 2035 builds on opportunities that include the Ayushman Bharat scheme that establishes health and wellness centres at the community level — to strengthen non-communicable disease prevention, detection, and control and assures government payment for hospitalisation – to reduce out of pocket expenses of individuals and families at the bottom of the pyramid.