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Punjab to outsource diagnostic services in govt hospitals to private players

The government is planning to outsource diagnostic services, including x-ray and ultrasound, to private players in government hospitals.

The Department of Health and Family Welfare has asked private diagnostic centres to get themselves empanelled for providing the facilities to district hospitals, sub-divisional hospitals and Community Health Centres.

How it will work

  • A patient will visit an empanelled centre and show the code sent by hospital. The centre will login on HMIS portal and verify the details
  • An OTP will be sent to the patient’s mobile number. After verification, the centre will conduct the referred test
  • After conducting the test, the centre will upload the test report on the portal along with its invoice
  • The patient may visit the doctor with report of follow-up. The doctor will check the report as well as the invoice of the centre concerned for determining its correctness.

A communication circulated among civil surgeons, the Director, Family Welfare, has claimed that the services intend to augment and improve health and medical facilities to the public.

As per the standard-operating procedures developed by the department, user charges for x-ray and ultrasound services being charged by the hospitals will be continued at the prevailing nominal rates whether the tests are conducted within the hospitals or referred to private empanelled centres. Patients are required to pay nominal user charges at the hospital only.

No payment is required to be paid by a patient at private diagnostic centre and subsequently the department will make the payment for the referred patients to the empanelled centres.

According to the procedure, the patients, who will come to the government hospitals, will be given in-house x-ray and ultrasound facilities. The existing x-ray and ultrasound machines, wherever available will be utilised for the purpose. Thereafter, any test which cannot be conducted within hospitals or due to unavailability of radiologist/radiographer or breakdown of any machine will be referred to the empanelled diagnostic centres.

To check any malpractice, a weekly inspection of referral cases will be made by the hospital in-charge. Further, the civil surgeons will make inspection of these referral cases on a quarterly basis. The Tribune

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