Mushrooming pathological labs abound with irregularities

From Special Correspondent

Silchar, Feb 14: The mushrooming private pathological laboratories in and around this town are creeping with a lot of irregularities in flagrant violation of standing medical rules of the country and the state. There have been public complaints how these laboratories make a mockery of the consumer rights and the doctors’ refusal not to issue cash memo against the fees charged. Grahak Suraksha Samiti (GSS), Cachar, today handed over a memorandum to the Joint Director of Health Services on the issues.

In fact, the Samiti did submit two memoranda earlier, first on August 7, 2014 and again on January 3, 2017. The present memorandum is virtually a photocopy of the earlier ones. It is not only in the urban but also in rural areas that pathological laboratories are cropping up illegally which are without any competent or specialized doctors as prescribed according to the rules. Both the rich and poor patients are being charged exorbitantly without following any norms and guidelines set up by the Central Service (Medical Attendance) Rules, 1944.

Besides, it has been alleged that most of the doctors who are engaged in private practices demand consultation fees above the fixed rates and even do not issue cash receipts violating Consumer Acts to evade income tax. Based on the contents of the memorandum, GSS has discussed the matter at length with the Joint Director for taking early and effective action, particularly against uuthorized blood collection centres and laboratories. It has been stressed for conducting spot verification and inspection of necessary documents issued to such blood collection centres and laboratories.

Apart from that, it was also impressed to serve notices for erring doctors and make them follow the guidelines in private practices. It is unfortute, noted Biplob Kumar Goswami, general secretary of the Samiti, that instead of initiating action on the basis of discussions on January 3, 2017, the Joint Director issued a letter to labs on January 5, 2017. This provided an opportunity to all the labs and collection centres for regularization of their fake documents. This only has gone to alert them instead of compelling them to set things right in the larger interest of the patients.

GSS feels unless drastic measures are taken against irregular labs and collection centres and brought them to book, there will be no curb on their unlawful activities. Thousands of patients are not only being duped but are also subject to questioble methods of blood tests and other pathological examitions. Considering the gravity of the matter involving the life and limb of patients, it is insisted by GSS that the Joint Director of Health would cause stringent measures in order to bring the labs and collection centres on right path.