Bangladesh to provide digital health card for all citizens to ease medicare

Each patient will have a digital card where all information about doctor's appointments, diseases and tests will be recorded

Senior Correspondentbdnews24.com
Published : 7 Dec 2023, 07:35 PM
Updated : 7 Dec 2023, 07:35 PM

The government has made arrangements to store all information related to patients’ treatment on a single digital database to avoid the trouble of preserving prescription and test files, according to the Directorate General of Health Services or DGHS.

Each patient will receive a digital card where all information about doctor's appointments, health conditions, and tests will be preserved.

Patients have to carry these cards while going to hospitals, where doctors will be able to access their details through the card.

Initially, this health card will be distributed under a pilot project in Gopalganj’s Muksudpur and Manikganj’s Singair Upazila. The cards will be handed out to patients who come for treatment at different government hospitals across the country. After government hospitals, private hospitals and medical clinics will also be added to the initiative.

The Medical Information Services or MIS of DGHS is implementing the project.

The health card will be prepared in conjunction with a person's national identity and birth registration card. Authorities will prepare a health profile for every individual based on information from each card where all the medical information will be stored, MIS director Prof Shahadat Hossain told bdnews24.com.

“We want everyone to have a unique health ID. The doctors will provide treatment for patients following the health card. When they move from one hospital to another, they won’t have to carry documents for check-ups and old prescriptions as all information will be on the cards,” Shahadat added.

Shahadat said that the DGHS has signed agreements with the Election Commission and the Registrar General's office for people’s NID information and birth registration data to implement the project.

He said that the process of sending patients from one hospital to another will be eased once the card is introduced.

The 'Shared Health Record' platform is being developed for sharing and storing health related information between government and private institutions. The DGHS believes that it will play an important role in diagnosing diseases accurately, increasing the quality of medical services, saving money and time for citizens, developing an orderly medical system and ensuring health services for all.

The health card holder's information will be adjusted with all public and private diagnostic centres and laboratories where diagnosis related information will be preserved after samples tests are done, Shahdat said.

“Once the card is introduced, a patient will be able to see health-related information any time. There will be no need to keep a file. Even the images will be preserved. Information about a patient’s health will easily be obtained if a patient goes to the hospital and shows the card,” according to the professor.

HOW THE CARD WILL BE MADE AVAILABLE

The DGHS has said that the authorities will launch a special website to issue the health card where an individual will be able to receive the card after registering online through the site.

People will be able to register for the card from DGHS-approved public and private hospitals if they are not able to register online. In this regard, people below 18 have to go to hospitals with a copy of their NID or birth registration card. Hospitals will have designated counters to issue health cards from where the cards will be distributed for free for all patients.

Hospitals and health organisations that are already automated will be centrally connected through a 'Shared Health Record', while each citizen will be provided a unique health ID number. All the health care information of individuals related to birth and death will be preserved in the digital database.

Patients will be able to get necessary tips for health and diagnosis related reports via email if the health card number is put into the system as all information of individuals will be kept virtually and the patients can make hospital appointments at home.

The DGHS has said that the cards will be supplied to all government health organisations and hospitals across the country initially. Later the government-approved private hospitals will also come under such facilities.