People below poverty line (BPL) will soon be able to get blood tests done free of cost in 170 dispensaries, 30 maternity homes and 17 peripheral hospitals across Mumbai. The civic body standing committee approved the proposal under the scheme “Aapli Chikitsa” on Wednesday. While the tests would be free for BPL families, others will have to pay Rs 50 per person for up to 101 tests and Rs 100 per person for up to 38 special tests under the scheme.
As part of the scheme, announced two years ago, the civic body has decided to bring medical facilities to the doorsteps of the poor. Under the scheme, the civic body will also strengthen the peripheral hospitals and dispensaries to reduce the burden on major civic hospitals, like KEM and Bhabha hospital. “The patients would be initially tested and screened at the labs and dispensaries. They need not go to the major hospitals for these tests,” said a civic official on condition of anonymity. Test results in emergency cases would be available within three hours, while other test results would have to be given between seven and eight hours.
The proposal to award the contract to carry out 139 types of both basic and advanced blood tests was approved by the standing committee on Wednesday, with amendments. The original proposal had charges from Rs 100 to Rs 200. It was made free for BPL families and the minimum cost was reduced to Rs 50. The civic body had made provisions of Rs 16 crore for the scheme in the 2018-19 budget. ENS