Irfan Tramboo

Health dept issues uniform rate list for diagnostic tests

Health dept issues uniform rate list for diagnostic tests
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DAK welcomes decision, seeks full-fledged budget for diagnostic facilities

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Srinagar: Acting upon the complaints that various hospitals were charging differently for diagnostic tests, the government has finally woken up by issuing a Uniform Rate Structure on Thursday.

The order issued is to be followed by the hospitals coming under the control of Director Health Services, Kashmir and Jammu, and those left out have been directed to follow SMHS in Srinagar, and SMGS in Jammu.

The order issued by the Health and Medical Education Department stated that it has worked out a uniform rate structure for more than 70 investigations to begin with.

“The Department worked out the rate structure for 72 investigation in the first instance, after evaluating the inputs received from various hospitals, especially JLNM Hospital Srinagar and Govt Gandhi Nagar Hospital, Jammu,” the order vide-no: 72HME of 2019 reads.

Earlier, last year, when the issue of non-uniformity of rates was brought into the notice of the Health department, the health and medical education had issued a circular, asking the hospitals to follow the rates as per the rate list being followed at SMHS hospital. However, even after that, the complaints were continuously pouring in.

“The Department issued a circular instruction vide No.02-HME of 2018 dated 09.08.2019 enjoining upon all Health Institutions of Jammu and Kashmir to strictly follow the rate structure being in force for SMHS Hospital Srinagar till further orders,” the order reads further

Following the circular, a committee was also constituted to chalk out a uniform rate structure, which finally seems to have done the job of bringing to fore the list of 72 investigations, the rates of which will remain the same throughout.

“…keeping in view the gravity of the matter, a committee was constituted…for finalizing of rate structure required thereof…many follow up meetings and communications were carried out to arrive at a uniform acceptable rate structure,” the order adds.

Meanwhile, Doctors’ Association Kashmir (DAK) has welcomed the order issued by state administration where in fresh directions are given to hospital authorities to ensure that patients get diagnostic services in public hospitals on uniform rates across the state.

Dr Suhai lNaik, President Doctor’s Association Kashmir in a statement said that “we were always pushing for uniform rate of diagnostic tests across the state and we want people to question the hospital authorities if they try to overcharge them.”

Dr Owais H Dar, General secretary DAK said that reformative changes at gross root level are required to get vibrant and patient friendly system. The need of minute is that health department is in dire need of intellectually effective health administration, who shall serve purpose in framing the state health budget.

Dr Mir Mushtaq senior executive member of DAK said that until there is deadwood running hospital affairs, the health care system is bound to deteriorate and degenerate with passage of time.

“It is moral and ethical responsibility of states financial department to keep a full-fledged budget for diagnostic facilities,” he said.

DAK has thanked social activists, media fraternity and civil societies for raising parallel voice for it.

Irfan Tramboo

Irfan Tramboo is a reporter and covers education and health and can be contacted [email protected]

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