Denial of health, allied services for want of Adhaar identity condemned

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 04 Nov 2017 12:43:57

Staff Reporter,


Nov 3,

Asserting that the step is extremely arbitrary and a gross violation of human rights and the right to life and dignity, several organisations and people’s health movements, health networks, women’s groups and individuals, etc have vehemently condemned the denial of any health and allied services, access to PDS or any other schemes that enhance social security for want of an Aadhaar identity.

Through a communique issued by Jan Swastha Abhiyan (JSA), it was stated that certain media report exemplifies instances of the multiple violations like bodily integrity, personhood, rights to life and healthcare - that women frequently experience in their quest for safe, legal and quality abortion services. As a result an estimated 10 women die due to unsafe abortions every day in the country. The denials in the reported instances were also in complete violation of the provisions of the Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act (MTP Act). Moreover, the denial of health services especially when it is available is a gross negligence - both criminal and civil and unethical on the part of the government and the health system and in
absolute violation of their professional ethics.

Sulakshana Nandi, State Convener, JSA, states that the mandatory requirement of Aadhaar for USG services in such instances remains unclear. While popular arguments that this will facilitate availability of the medical history of all patients to any hospital persist, this is in clear violation of Section 2(k), Aadhaar Act 2016, which states that demographic information collected under the Act shall not include ‘medical history’.

Several State Government health services are already collecting Aadhaar from patients. This raises extremely serious concerns about privacy, confidentiality and ethics vis-a-vis the collection, storage and sharing of health data of patients, linked to Aadhaar over a platform, which has the potential to be accessed widely and used unethically. Disclosure of personal health information also has the potential to reinforce stigma, discrimination and marginalization of those seeking health care, leading to its denial and threat to lives.

JSA demands that the linking of Aadhaar to health and other social services, including access to PDS be urgently revoked by the Centre and all states and information must be disseminated widely and publicly to ensure that such violations cease immediately.