Srinagar, July 26: The prices patients pay for various diagnostic tests in Kashmir, is not governed by any rule or law, thus leaving ample scope for over-charging and profiteering. The last rate list was framed in 2012, and was never implemented.
Huge disparity in rates of biochemical, radiological, microbiological, pathological and other tests is rampant in Kashmir. Stakeholders have for a long time demanded a regulatory mechanism in the market to help patients. A patient or customer doesn't possess knowledge about tests in general. They go to a lab, they are charged at the rates, the lab finds fit. "There is no one to check the prices of the tests,” a senior doctor said. He said any test, from the most basic to the advanced, must have a cap price, above which no lab should be permitted to charge. However, nothing of that sort exists,” he said. Kashmir Pvt Diagnostic Centres Association JK, has also been demanding a rate list for various tests. President of Association Rouf Rangraze said a rate list was framed in 2012 by Health and Medical Education Department Kashmir. “However, there was a litigation and the rate list was not implemented,” he said. The member said that since 2012, neither was a new rate list framed, nor was the one that was framed implemented. “The Governments over the years have slept on it,” he said. The association has said that there is a desperate need of such a rate list for all medical investigations adding that when framed, it should be a mandatory practice to display the rate list in the labs. Principal Secretary J&K Government, Health and Medical Education Manoj Kumar Dwivedi is requested to look into it, he added.