Assam Health Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma deleted a tweet in which he revealed the names of patients who were seeking treatment for various ailments under Ayushman Bharat scheme following criticism.

Sarma had on 24 September tweeted a list of 21 beneficiaries of the scheme in his excitement to show how the mega heathcare yojana of Prime Minister Narendra Modi is being utilised within 24 hours of its launch. His tweet a day after the Prime Minister launched the scheme in a public meeting in Jharkhand’s Ranchi.

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“It’s heartening to share that within 24 hours of its launch we have given benefits of #AyushmanBharat to 21 needy patients across different hospitals in #Assam. Likely rise in numbers from Tuesday,” read the tweet which contained a list revealing the names of the beneficiaries, the hospitals they were admitted to and the ailment for which they were undergoing treatment.

In the tweet, Sarma tagged the Prime Minister, Union Health Minister JP Nadda and the official twitter handle of National Health Agency.

Many on Twitter criticised the minister for breaching the privacy of patients by posting their names and the disease they are suffering from.

 

Though Sarma deleted the tweet, he probably forgot to remove a retweet of a post by a news organisation containing a screenshot of another tweet posted by him. The screenshot of that tweet is reproduced below with names of patients, their districts and some diseases which could have revealed the identity of patients blurred out.

Himanta Biswa Sarma patient name
(Photo: Twitter/@NewsLiveGhy)

 

On 25 September Sarma posted a new list of beneficiaries but this time only the hospital name, hospital district and the type of illness were mentioned.

 

The Assam minister is not the only one who committed the blunder.

According to The New Indian Express, a senior PMJAY official in Ranchi had shared the details of medical condition of four patients admitted at Ranchi Institute of Medical Sciences under the scheme. Though the official insisted that he had taken “consent”, the patients reportedly refuted his claim.