INDIA – The Delhi government’s health department has begun the process of expanding free testing at private labs, as per Times of India report.

The government has started by outsourcing and appointing private labs to provide 450 different types of tests to patients for free through diagnostic centers.

Many tests are already available for free in mohalla clinics, hospitals, dispensaries, and polyclinics.” “The expansion will benefit patients, particularly with diagnostics, which are often quite expensive, because they will be made free and easily accessible,” said a health department official.

Currently, 212 different types of tests are offered for free at Aam Aadmi Mohalla Clinics. The number of tests performed in government hospitals varies.

While some hospitals perform around 250 different types of tests, such as blood collection and urine testing, superspecialty facilities perform around 400 different tests. There are also special testing facilities in dispensaries.

The 450 types of tests will be included in mohalla clinics, dispensaries, polyclinics and Delhi government hospitals.

A notice for outsourcing of lab services stated, “The timings of lifting samples of blood, urine, and stool will be decided by the authorities from time to time to meet clinical requirements, service-level specifications (waiting time) in the interest of patients.

The timings may be modified (based on outpatient department timings) for all health facilities or for individual health facilities.”

All samples will be transported according to the standard operating procedures approved by the authorities.

Applicable national regulations should be followed for the transport of infectious and other diagnostic specimens so that in the event of an accident, courier staff and the general public may not be exposed to blood and body fluids,” the notice added.

At present, Delhi government runs 39 hospitals, 201 dispensaries, 31 polyclinics and 520 mohalla clinics in the city.

Lok Nayak Hospital expands services

Meanwhile, with receding Covid-19 cases in the capital, and normalcy being restored, Lok Nayak Hospital – the largest health facility under the state government is set to expand its services with the inclusion of latest technologies, apart from adding beds and focusing on maternity and pediatric care.

Lok Nayak’s medical director, Dr Suresh Kumar said: “The new block will have greater focus on maternity and advanced therapeutics along with medicine. There will be a specialized maternal fetal medicine unit in the new building.”

The new block will have 1,500 beds spread across 22 floors. The construction of the new building started in October 2020, and was inaugurated by chief minister Arvind Kejriwal amid raging pandemic.

Additionally, the new building will have advanced technology. With the new block, the waiting time for surgeries is also expected to come down.

It will have a modular operation theater and 34 new operation theater rooms and two emergency operation theater rooms. The hospital will also have its own Central Sterile Services Department.

Furthermore, there will be new medical departments as well as expansion of the current ones, such as critical care, neuro surgery, pediatric surgery, trauma care center, and laparoscopic surgery. While the target for completion of the new block was set at 30 months, the hospital is making plans to partially open it from November.

The building will have a provision for installation of solar panels, internal water supply, sanitary machines, external developed works, drainage, rainwater harvesting, a separate kitchen and a laundry department.

The Delhi government is working on expansion programs in several hospitals, such as Guru Gobind Sing Hospital, Dr Baba Saheb Ambedkar Hospital, Dr Hedgewar Aarogya Sansthan, Acharya Bhikshu Hospital, among others.

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