Medical labs will be linked for free treatment scheme

Jaipur: Ahead of launching the free OPD and IPD scheme, the health department has stepped up preparing a network of laboratories by interconnecting them across the state with the help of private player. In rural areas, a doctor will be able to collect samples for a test that are available at a medical college approved laboratory. The move will help doctors in identifying patients™ diseases at the village level.

A system will be developed which will help provide high-end laboratory diagnostic services, which are currently not being offered. It will help in faster diagnosis, reduced incidence of complications due to delays in diagnosis, increased access of people for improved quality of diagnostic services.

The new model will require less machines and human resources as labs will be interlinked. If a test is not available at a place, the sample will be transported to another lab for diagnosis. The new model will take some time as finalising the private firm is yet to be done, said a senior health department official.

Currently, the health department is providing 56 different diagnostic tests at district, sub-district and satellite hospitals, 37 at community health centres and 15 at primary health centres and dispensaries.

Now, the government is planning to increase the tests from 56 to 143 at district hospitals, from 56 to 117 at sub-district and satellite hospitals, from 37 to 101 at community health centres and from 15 to 66 at primary health centres and dispensaries.

Under the hub and spoke model, the state government is planning to set up a mother lab in each of the 33 districts where 143 tests will be made available, 117 hub labs will come up and 3,009 spokes will be developed. This is how the network of labs across the state will be developed, which will be interlinked.

The government intends to equip 3,009 spokes, 117 hub labs and 33 mother labs and set up a referral mechanism wherein the samples if needed will be transported to a higher facility for processing high level tests. Under the arrangement, the service provider shall be responsible and accountable for complete installation, maintenance of equipment and smooth operations on a long-term basis, an official said.

In addition, the service provider will also make provisions of specialist and lab technicians at the facilities wherever required and their training to operate to equipment, conduct lab tests and reporting results.