NITI Aayog’s mandate is to provide strategic directions to the various sectors of the Indian economy. In line with this mandate, the Health Vertical released a set of four working-papers compiled in a volume entitled ‘Health Systems for New India: Building blocks – Potential Pathways to Reforms’ during November 2019. Vision 2035: Public Health Surveillance in India is a continuation of the work on Health Systems Strengthening. It contributes by suggesting mainstreaming of surveillance by making individual electronic health records the basis for surveillance.
Vision 2035: Public Health Surveillance in India is a joint effort of Health Vertical, NITI Aayog, and Institute for Global Public Health, University of Manitoba, Canada with contributions from technical experts from the Government of India, States, and International agencies.
The document identifies four building blocks for this vision. These include
- An interdependent federated system of governance between the centre and states.
- Enhanced use of new data collection and sharing mechanisms for surveillance based on unitized, citizen-centric comprehensive Electronic Health Records (EHR) with a unique health identifier (UHID).
- Enhanced use of new data analytics, data science, artificial intelligence and machine learning
- Advanced health informatics.
The vision document briefly describes the progress made by India in Public Health Disease Surveillance and builds on the existing experience of public health surveillance systems. Additionally, the document identifies gap areas in Public Health Surveillance in India that could be addressed.
Drawing on best practices from India and other developing and developed country experiences, the document suggests seven next steps for India to move forward towards this vision. All these steps are in alignment with the principle to raise the profile of surveillance as a tool for the public good. Implementation of this vision can thrust India to be a global/regional leader in Public Health Surveillance – ‘information for action’. This vision document describes what India’s Public Health Surveillance can be in 2035.
The NITI Aayog (National Institution for Transforming India – Policy Commission) was established in 2015 by the Government of India as a policy think tank. Its aim is to achieve sustainable development goals through cooperative federalism, fostering the involvement of State Governments and using a bottoms-up approach.