Odisha government is set to make diagnostic services, including expensive dialysis, X-ray, CT scan and the MRI, free for patients. The health and family welfare department, through its Free Diagnostic Scheme, will provide the services to the people.
It has already been providing expensive drugs for free to patients through its Niramaya scheme since 2015. “The cost of the free diagnostic and dialysis services will be shared between the NHM and the state government,” said an official of the health and family welfare department.
“The NHM has already made a provision of Rs 40 crore for the scheme while the remaining amount will be taken from the funds available with our department,” he said.
The government health care facilities in the state now charge between Rs 800 and Rs 1,400 for CT scan, Rs 50 to Rs 100 for various X-rays, Rs 100 for ultrasound, Rs 300 to Rs 700 for dialysis. The cost of these diagnostic services is almost three times at the private health care facilities of the city.
“This is definitely a great move by the state government. It will have a huge impact on the health sector,” said Dr Sobhan Rath, a medicine specialist at a private clinic. Despite being happy with the development, some people voiced their concerns on the maintenance of the services at the government facilities.