Updated: June 6, 2021 12:05:21 pm
The Telangana government will open free diagnostic centres in 19 district headquarters besides carrying out free tests in major government hospitals beginning Monday to help the economically underprivileged.
Covid-19 treatment is free at government hospitals, but patients have to get several medical tests done at private diagnostic centres which charge hefty fees, increasing the financial burden on them.
Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao had earlier directed health officials to set up diagnostic centres at identified places so that eligible beneficiaries can undergo a battery of tests including blood and urine analysis; tests to determine diabetes and hypertension, diseases of liver, kidney, thyroid, lungs, and even cancer, free of charge.
At a Covid-19 review meeting Saturday, the CM said that the cost of diagnostic tests has become even more than the disease.
Health Department officials said 57 types of tests would be conducted at these centres, which include tests for the coronavirus. The CM said besides the general tests, certain speciality tests, which are expensive, would also be done at the centres free of cost.
“To detect the ailment, blood and urine tests are a must. These days every other person is suffering from hypertension and diabetes. They have to get examined for them. Tests for the heart, liver, kidney, and lungs, cancer, Thyroid became a necessity for the poor, and Covid-19 joined the list. Several tests are to be conducted for Covid-19 patients. The government doctor will write prescriptions for medicines, but for the diagnostic tests, people are forced to go to the private clinics, spend thousands of rupees and get the tests done. This has become a heavy financial burden on the poor. People are facing a lot of hardships to get the Covid tests done for the treatment.,’’ the CM said.
Health Department officials said 57 types of tests would be conducted at these centres, which include tests for Coronavirus. The tests include blood, urine, diabetes, hypertension, cardiac ailments, orthopedic, liver, kidney, thyroid related X-ray, biochemistry, Pathology and other tests. The CM said besides the general tests, certain specialty tests, which are expensive, would also be done at the centres free of cost. He said the government had made arrangements to send the results of the test reports to the patients’ mobile phones. He said very expensive equipment with state-of-the-art; modern technology is installed at these centres. Such costly equipment is hitherto available in the corporate hospitals, and in major government hospitals like Gandhi, Osmania and NIMs, only. These diagnostic centres also have modern technology supported testing equipment like fully Automatic Immunoassay Analyzer, Five Part cell counter, and fully automatic urine analyzer. Along with these, ECG, 2 D Echo, UltraSound, Digital X Ray and other such imaging testing units were also provided. These testing equipment work very fast and they produce 400 to 800 reports per hour. With these equipment installed spending crores of rupees, test results of more patients can be obtained in a short period of time and they can be given the medical treatment quickly. He said along with this, CT scans will also be provided where there is a need.
The CM said the government had ensured that adequate pathologists, microbiologists, radiologists and other staff needed to conduct the tests are posted at these centres.
Elaborating further, the CM said, “There are four types of expenses for the medical treatment. The transport expenditure to reach the hospital, doctor’s fee, medicines, diagnostic tests, expenses for the inpatient, if discharged transport charges to come back home, in case of death, funeral expenses.” He said the government is bearing all these expenses and offering free services to people in the government hospitals. For the emergency services, the government is running 428 ambulances under 108 services. 300 vehicles are already in operation for pregnant women under Amma Vodi Scheme, where the pregnant mothers are transported free to the hospitals and back home after the delivery. He said in the Diagnostic Centres, which are starting from Monday, the government had made arrangements for the poor patient taking treatment under the PHCs, on the doctor’s advice, to get their samples sent to the nearest Centre for quick testing and reports.
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