SRINAGAR: Doctors Association Kashmir (DAK) has sought free medical tests for patients at government-run hospitals in the State.
In a statement issued here, DAK president Dr Nisar-ul-Hassan said free diagnostic tests and scans would bring huge relief to poor patients. “It is painful to see poor patients leaving hospitals without treatment because they cannot afford the expenses of tests. Despite the availability of latest equipment at government hospitals, patients are deprived of treatment because of financial constraints. All these advances are meaningless if patients cannot avail them.”
He said poor patients go to public hospitals with a hope that free treatment will be given to them but government hospitals are no less than private hospitals when it comes to spending money.
“They charge hefty sums on diagnostic tests like CT and MRI scans. The contrast enhanced CT scan costs to the patient Rs 3700 and for CT angiography, patient has to pay Rs 4200. For contrast enhanced MRI and MR angiography, patient is charged Rs 3700 each. Patient has to pay Rs 5,500 for coronary angiography which is done to diagnose blocked or narrowed vessels in a heart attack patient,” he said.
“From simple tests like CBC, KFT, LFT, Lipid profile, thyroid function, urine examination to x-ray, ECG, Echo, USG and Endoscopy, patients are being charged.”
Nisar said while government has announced free drugs in government hospitals, the patients have to pay even for life-saving medicines. “If someone gets a heart attack, he/she has to pay Rs 30,000 for tenecteplase, a thrombolytic drug that dissolves clot in clogged arteries and restores blood flow to heart. Poor have to end up on compromise in treatment as they cannot afford this costly drug.”