July 17, 2011

Finance ministry approves launch of National Health portal

The ambitious National Health Portal, a database proposed by the Union health ministry for storing the medical records of all citizens, has got an approval from the finance ministry.

The proposal will now go to the Union Cabinet for its nod, Minister of State for Health and Family Welfare Dinesh Trivedi said here today, while inaugurating 'International Conference on Medical Electronics: Partnering for Access and Affordability' organised by FICCI.

He said the health ministry adopted a three-pronged initiative two years ago to put in place a National Health Portal, a 24-hour, 3-digit National Emergency Media Service Number and an Indian Health Information Network.

The National Health Portal, recommended by the National Knowledge Commission, would make optimum use of technology for establishing a database for the medical records of all citizens and other health related issues.

The portal would put information on standardisation and protocols in the public domain. The effort would also be to ensure that the medical records of all citizens are electronically stored for easy access by pathologists and doctors for diagnosis and treatment of patients.

The Minister lamented that the Health Ministry's proposal for acquiring railway land for setting up diagnostic centres at the 8000-odd railway stations has been hanging fire for the last year and a half. His suggestion that a beginning could be made by taking up 20 pilot projects has also not seen the light of day, he remarked.

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