The Directorate of Public Health (DPH) is in the process of extending sophisticated laboratory services to 45 more Block Primary Health Centers (BPHCs) under the Universal Health Coverage initiative after the pilot project in three districts was a success. The initiative will benefit people in remote villages who travel long distances now to reach tertiary healthcare center or private laboratories. Under the Hub and Spoke model, the test samples collected at remote primary health centers will be transported to BPHCs. Under the model, lab technicians will transport the test samples collected in remote Primary Health Centers on bikes to these sophisticated laboratories at BPHCs. At least, 40 laboratory tests will be performed at these centers, officials said.
“Last year, we piloted it in three districts -Viralimalai in Pudukottai district, Veppur in Perambalur district and Soolagri in Krishnagiri district. Later, the test load in remote Primary Health Centers reduced and also patients coming to PHCs for laboratory tests increased,” said S Raju, Deputy Director of State Public Laboratories. “Under the project, infrastructure in these Block PHCs will be developed, manpower will be increased. Sophisticated equipment, reagent kits and consumable will be made available,” he said. “The main component of Universal Health Coverage concept is reducing individuals’ out of pocket expenditure on healthcare. Laboratory services are one of the crucial services for which the poor spend a lot of money. This burden will be reduced now. Instead of patients travelling to better facilities, the samples will be transported now,” he said. These laboratories will provide higher tests like thyroid test, which are not being done at PHCs. Also, a Complete Blood Count (CBC), a blood test used to detect a wide range of disorders, will be done, officials said. – New Indian Express