The health department of the Delhi government fixed a ceiling rate of Rs 4,500 for swine flu (H1N1) tests at private accredited laboratories on Wednesday.
There are 10 accredited laboratories in Delhi (seven private and three government labs). The number of swine flu cases in the Capital has reached 1,781 this year. While no death was reported, of the 643 samples tested on Wednesday, 102 tested positive.
“A few private laboratories were charging up to Rs 9,000 for swine flu tests while some others charged Rs 3,500. To standardise the rates, we came to a consensus with the labs and fixed the ceiling rate of Rs 4,500 for the tests. If any one of them tries to violate the cap, we’ll blacklist that laboratory,” said Dr SK Sharma, director, Directorate of Health Services (DHS).
The health department has also permitted all hospitals with 100 beds having ventilator support to treat patients suffering from swine flu. There are currently 26 designated hospitals (19 government and nine private hospitals) in Delhi where the treatment is available. The health officials held a meeting with the chemists association and distributors on Wednesday and decided to issue 40 more licences to chemists on the spot for Schedule X drugs to make Tamiflu (oseltamivir) available in Delhi.
“There are 100 chemists in Delhi who are licensed to sell swine flu drugs. We have identified 10-12 more hospitals and a few more shops which will be given the licence. The list of 100 chemists will also be put on the health department’s website,” said SB Shashank, special secretary, health department.