Delhi govt to provide 450 types of medical tests free of cost from Jan 1
Government hospitals currently conduct tests such as haemoglobin, urine, stool, lipid profile, blood glucose random tests for free. The new list will add liver screen, liver function, kidney panel, glucose, post-prandial, plasma etc.
From January 1, 2023, 450 lab tests in all Delhi government hospitals will be conducted free of cost, Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal announced on Tuesday.
“Healthcare has become very expensive and many people cannot afford private healthcare. This step of the Delhi government will benefit all such people,” Kejriwal said.
He added, “It is our mission to provide quality health and education to all sections of society.”
According to a statement issued by the Delhi government on Tuesday, the CM approved the proposal of the health department with the aim of providing the people of Delhi best-in-class healthcare services for free. Senior officials of the Delhi government’s health department said that currently 212 types of tests were being conducted free of cost in government hospitals, polyclinics and mohalla clinics in the national capital. With the CM’s nod to 238 more, the total count is now 450.
“The state government has decided to further increase the number of types of tests to 450 to provide relief to the people who are already burdened by inflation,” the government statement read.
On October 25, HT had reported on the health department’s proposal to include more free tests so that patients do not have to resort to private facilities for expensive tests. Government hospitals currently conduct tests such as haemoglobin, urine, stool, lipid profile, blood glucose random tests for free. The new list will add liver screen, liver function, kidney panel, glucose, post-prandial, plasma etc.
Data provided by the Delhi government earlier this year showed that the scheme to provide free lab tests at government hospitals was popular among patients from economically weaker sections. At least 52,479 patients had benefitted from the free testing facilities in 2017, when the scheme was first launched with basic tests. In 2018, the number rose to 63,765 and in 2019, 78,800 patients availed the facility at government hospitals.
In 2020, the number dipped to 56,700 because of the focus of government hospitals on Covid-19 treatment, but the patient load spiked again to nearly 104,000 in 2021.