There was a time when people had to spend a lot of money to get diagnosed at diagnostic centres. With nowhere to go, many had to sell gold or take hand loans to pay the huge bills that followed their visits. The scenario has changed after the AP Government took the significant step of offering 72 diagnostic services for free. From blood to lipid profile to clinical pathology, microbiology, all tests are being done at the hospital itself while help from private partners is sought whenever necessary. The objective is to strengthen the existing government services and leverage the facilities of private partners not only to reduce out of pocket expenditure to poor and lower middle class patients visiting government hospitals but also to bring down rates in the market for others.
How are they collecting samples?
Under the new system, service providers extending the diagnostic services will send their personnel to the hospitals, CHCs and PHCs to collect samples, do the tests and send results within the stipulated time.
How is it monitored?
Everything will be monitored real time because of IT component and at the end of the day number of tests done in each centre are uploaded to the Chief Minister’s dashboard.
How does technology help?
The live feed will not only help the Medical and Health Department to study the disease patterns across the State but keep a tab on the functioning of service providers who will be paid by the government based on their service.
How about tele-radiology services?
As the radiologists are in short supply, the department has tied up with a centrally located radiology centre where x-ray reports of patients in 113 community health centres will be sent in ‘image digitisation’ in the approved FDA teleradiology formats. The radiologists sitting in the centre will study images and send back reports online with their digital signature.