Foreword

There is a great wave of change that is coming across India. More particularly to the healthcare industry in India which includes Hospitals, Pharmacies, Diagnostic Centers, Medical Professionals, IT companies engaged in Health care related operations,Health Insurance, Professionals engaged in Information Security, Privacy Lawyers and perhaps many others….including all of us who are and will be at one time or other “patients” in the system of healthcare.

What is happening is likely to give a huge stimulus to the Indian Economy by triggering a big change in the Health Care industry.

This revolutionary change is as big if not bigger than the Y2K event. It did happen in US in 1996 when the “Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act” or what we fondly call the HIPAA was legislated. In 2009, Mr Obama taking over as President set aside a sum of US$17.2 billion for incentivising the use of Electronic Health records by the industry in USA because he believed that this could be the key to bringing about the economic stimulus to the then ailing US economy.

Now Mr Modi appears to be replaying the Obama trick in India with the proposed new law tentatively titled as the “Healthcare Data Privacy and Security Act”. (HDPSA).

For Naavi, it appears a replaying of the situation in 1998 when the “Draft E Commerce Act-1998” was adopted by the Government as the roadmap for legislation on electronic documents which metamorphed into Information Technology Bill in 1999 and further to Information Techology Act 2000 in October 2000 and Information Technology Act in 2008 (ITA 2000/8).

The draft/proposed Healthcare Data Privacy and Security Act is expected to make substantial difference to the way the Healthcare and IT industry will be handling the information of Citizens which have a “Healthcare component” in it.

Keeping with the tradition of Naavi, this cyber space will be devoted to the dissemination of information related to HDPSA as it unfolds.

In the course of this dissemination, we are certain we will have some good things to say about the legislation and perhaps also many not so palatable things if the implementation does not go in accordance with what we may consider as in the interest of Digital India.

However, I urge the visitors to take things in the right spirit and contribute towards the betterment of Digital India by sharing their views and becoming part of this community.

We are aware that there could be many a slip between the cup and the lip and the legislation may or may not come forth immediately or for some time. But we shall continue to explore the wonderful space of the “Law As it Emerges”.

I welcome you all aboard this journey on Privacy in Healthcare in India.

Naavi