In her Union Budget 2022 speech, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Tuesday announced the launch of a National Mental Health Program along with an open platform for the National Digital Health Ecosystem.
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As per the announcement by the FM, a national tele-mental health program will be rolled out soon to counsel people across the country on mental health issues. While it will include a network of 23 tele-mental health centres of excellence, NIMHANS (National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences) will be the nodal agency. Moreover, the technology for the program will be supported by IIT Bangalore.
Sitharaman highlighted that there has been a visible rise in mental health problems amongst people of all ages since the advent of the COVID-19 pandemic. With the launch of the National Mental Health Program, the FM aims to provide better access to quality mental health counselling as well as mental healthcare services to all citizens.
The open platform for Digital Health Ecosystem, which was announced by the FM, will contain digital registries of health providers and health facilities. It will also create a unique health identity and ensure universal access to health facilities.
The launch of the open platform is expected to create a need for health insurance amongst people. Moreover, the unique health identity is expected to better risk assessment by health insurance companies leading to appropriate premiums and claims.
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