SRINAGAR: Doctors Association Kashmir (DAK) on Sunday sought a law to regulate the functioning and setting up of private laboratories in Jammu and Kashmir. DAK President Dr Nisar ul Hassan in a statement said the law will ensure quality and accuracy of tests in privately run medical labs. “The private labs in JK are unregulated and in absence of regulations, majority of medical labs issue wrong test results, putting health and lives of patients at risk.”
Dr Nisar said most of the medical decisions are based on lab tests and issuance of inaccurate reports is causing confusion among medical practitioners and sufferings to patients. “The faulty tests can lead to misdiagnosis, wrong treatment and can unnecessarily cause patients to undergo uncomfortable and even dangerous procedures.”
He said a wrong sugar report can prove fatal to a diabetic and an incorrect cholesterol test can subject a patient to unnecessary side effects of lipid lowering agent. “The private labs lack quality equipment and trained staff. The machines are not calibrated and uncalibrated machines give incorrect results. Even the reagents and chemicals used for tests are not of standard quality.”
“With no legal provisions, labs find themselves answerable to none for their negligence and wrong-doing,” he added.
DAK president said the Government of India (GoI) has enacted the “Clinical Establishment Act” in 2010 to bring under its purview the diagnostic industry, but this has not been adopted in JK.
“While ‘National Accreditation Board for Testing and Calibration Laboratories’ has been established to ensure quality in labs, but in JK they operate like mom-and-pop shops in the absence of any binding regulatory norm,” he said.
He said people pay hefty sums to have tests done at these labs, but there is no guarantee that the reports issued will be accurate. “Despite lack of infrastructural facilities and qualified personnel, private labs have been given license endangering the safety of patients.”