Government working on an Aadhaar-like IT platform for Modicare
The government has begun work on creating an Information Technology (IT) architecture for the Prime Minister’s flagship health insurance scheme – the National Health Protection Scheme (NHPS) - that can eventually match the scale of the Aadhaar platform, two officials working on the project said on Wednesday.
A number of officials from NITI Ayog , Union health ministry, the Unqiue Identification Authority of India and the National Informatics Centre were present at a meeting between those working on the project and Infosys co-founder and former chief of the UIDAI Nandan Nilekani.
“We have begun work using a two-track approach. We will create a system that can borrow from the best state models already offering health cover for a quick rollout while simultaneously working on a national platform that can be used cater to the entire country,” a health ministry official said. The scheme already envisages an Aadhar-linked rollout.
“We wanted to learn from the Aadhar experience because they have had a large rollout,” NITI Ayog adviser Alok Kumar, who was also present at the meeting, said.
The platform that is being created will have features like “portability” to allow those who are enrolled under NHPS in one state to seek insurance cover in any other. The IT architecture will also allow for horizontal and vertical expansion of the coverage base. The NHPS aims to cover 50 crore citizens.
“We are providing cover to 40 per cent of the people. If some state wants to increase that, there should be provision for that,” Kumar explained.
Six working groups with officials from the Centre and the states are working to finalise the contours of the scheme and Ayushman Bharat. The first meeting of the groups was held in New Delhi on February 16.
Officials will study and audit the best state model from among the already existing ones in Rajasthan, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, West Bengal and Karnataka.
“We don’t want to reinvent the wheel. We will take from the already functional state models,” Ayushman Bharat Director Dinesh Arora said.