Punjab: Improve diagnostic test count, district health depts told - Hindustan Times
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Punjab: Improve diagnostic test count, district health depts told

ByKaram Prakash, Patiala
Feb 13, 2024 08:22 AM IST

Concerned over the low count of radio diagnostic tests despite empanelling private centres, the state health department has asked the district health departments to ramp up radio diagnostic test count in government-run centres across the state.

Concerned over the low count of radio diagnostic tests despite empanelling private centres, the state health department has asked the district health departments to ramp up radio diagnostic test count in government-run centres across the state.

Patiala Civil Surgeon holds a meeting with owners of empanelled private radio diagnostic centres on Monday. (HT Photo)
Patiala Civil Surgeon holds a meeting with owners of empanelled private radio diagnostic centres on Monday. (HT Photo)

As per documents and information available with HT, a majority of the health centres had prescribed ultrasound only to less than 2.5% of the total OPD count at hospitals. It is far less given the diagnostic requirements of such departments as gynaecology and surgery, say experts.

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In some instances, there were 100 OPD counts and zero prescriptions of the test therein. The state health department has already asked the respective civil surgeons to explain the reasons.

It has been learnt that civil surgeons are being asked to explain a low number of ‘radio diagnostic tests’ prescribed by doctors in government hospitals.

“The prescribed number of ultrasounds is less than 2.5% in many of the health centres whereas the state average is 3.5%. Each district needs to work on it and hope things will be better from Monday,” reads the communication by a top health official to civil surgeons in the state.

Following this, civil surgeons have asked doctors to ensure that ultrasounds should either be conducted at government-run facilities or at empanelled private centres.

This auditing of the tests by top officials of the state health department is said to have been started in the backdrop of empanelling private test centres from January 26.

One of the civil surgeons on the condition of anonymity said, “If any health facility doesn’t have a general surgeon or gynaecologist who usually prescribes ultrasounds, it is likely that the number will be less than the average.”

Sources in the health department said senior officials were conducting a work audit of the health centres to check patients from going to private labswhich are not empanelled.

Officials of the audit teams claimed that from the day they started monitoring, the number of tests conducted by government facilities had already started rising.

One of the top officials of the health department said, “Regular monitoring aims at bridging the gap between the number of OPD patients requiring diagnostic tests and the number of tests conducted in government and empanelled facilities. Positive results have already started to come as the number of tests within government facilities have increased.”

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