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Govt to generate unique health IDs for people giving Aadhaar for vaccination | India News

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BENGALURU: If a Covid-19 vaccine seeker provides his/her Aadhaar as identity proof to be inoculated, the government will immediately generate a unique health identity (UHID) for the individual. Eyeing this as an opportunity, authorities now are planning to use the vaccination programme to get digital health IDs for citizens. Once a UHID is generated, a person’s health records are digitally maintained in hospitals and become a part of government records.
The plan, however, flies in the face of rules drawn up to vaccinate healthcare workers. The government has expressly stated that using Aadhaar as ID proof could have “legal implications”. Under the ‘frequently asked questions’ on registration of healthcare workers for Covid vaccination programme on covid19.karnataka.gov.in, a government-run portal, it clearly states Aadhaar card is not to be used as photo ID proof. It reads: ‘Never take Aadhaar details into the excel sheet. It has legal implications. Hence it is not listed in the Photo ID drop down menu’.
Notably, providing Aadhaar is not mandatory to receive the vaccine — any government-issued ID will be accepted. “The objective is to have digital health documentation of all citizens. However, this is optional,” said health department officials.
Using the unique identification number could have another impact too as, during the dry run, a significant delay was noticed when authorities attempted to generate health IDs of beneficiaries based on Aadhaar. “This has been brought to the notice of the central government,” said Pankaj Kumar Pandey, health commissioner.
Asked why UHID was being linked to the Covid vaccination drive, officials said it was a central government decision, but insisted it is optional. “The vaccination drive is the perfect opportunity to generate IDs since most individuals will come to hospitals for vaccination,” Pandey said. “UHID is required for seamless movement of people seeking treatment from one state to another. It is digital proof of one’s health, but it’s optional.”
However, the Private Hospitals and Nursing Homes’ Associations says the government has not listed Aadhaar as a photo ID proof when healthcare workers were asked to provide their data for the vaccine. “Healthcare work-ers in the private sector have not provided their Aadhaar when drawing up the data base as the government clearly said the document was not to be used for the purpose,” said PHANA president HM Prasanna. “We had no clue that the government was planning to generate UHIDs during the vaccination drive.”

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