The Telangana government has announced that 19 diagnostic centres are set to come up in different hospitals of the state, where 57 types of tests will be done free of cost. Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao has issued directions for the diagnostic centres to start functioning from June 7. The diagnostic centres will start functioning at government hospitals at the district headquarters in 19 districts: Mahabubnagar, Nizamabad, Sangareddy, Medak, Jangaon, Mulugu, Mahabubabad, Bhadradri-Kothagudem, Jagtial, Siddipet, Nalgonda, Khammam, Sircilla, Vikarabad, Nirmal, Karimnagar, Adilabad, Gadwal and Komaram Bheem Asifabad.
These labs will have advanced equipment including fully automatic clinical chemistry analysers, fully automatic immunoassay analysers, five-part cell counters, Elisa readers and washers, fully automatic urine analysers, and imaging devices like ECG, 2D Echo, ultrasound machines and digital X rays, The Hindu reported. Pathologists, microbiologists, radiologists and other technicians will be appointed by the government at these centres. According to the Times of India, similar diagnostic centres are also likely to come up in other districts in a phased manner.
CM K Chandrasekhar Rao said that currently, such advanced equipment is only available with either corporate private hospitals or with the major government hospitals like Gandhi Hospital which are located in Hyderabad. He noted that diagnostic tests comprise a huge portion of medical bills for the poor and that often, after being prescribed medicines by doctors at government hospitals, they would have to spend thousands on tests at private diagnostic centres. He said that the free diagnostic centres had been set up as the government realised the importance of investigations alongside treatment. He also noted that the COVID-19 pandemic had increased the financial burden on patients who had to undergo COVID-19 testing and treatment. Patients visiting the district diagnostic centres will also be provided free ambulance service, and their diagnostic reports will be sent to the patient or attendantâ€™s phones, The Hindu reported.