Kerala

Hospitals get access to advanced lab services

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Logistic support for far-flung hospitals

In a first in the State, health-care institutions in Ernakulam district are being provided logistic support to utilise the advanced laboratory services available only at major public health centres.

Pooling in the resources, the district unit of the National Health Mission (NHM) and district panchayat have started systematic collection of body fluid samples for tests at higher centres for advanced diagnostics, under the hub-and-spoke model, on an everyday basis.

The District General Hospital, Public Health Laboratory, and Cochin Cancer Research Centre, all in Kochi, and Government Medical College Hospital, Ernakulam, are the hubs and far-flung government hospitals in the district are the spokes. Two vehicles and trained drivers have been engaged to collect colour-coded samples and deposit them at the required hub, from where reports are sent to the respective hospital by mail.

Mathews Numpelil, district programme manager, NHM, told The Hindu that the hospitals used to engage separate transportation systems whenever they needed to send samples. Now, a vehicle reaches the laboratories of these hospitals, collect samples and sent for advanced microbiological and pathology tests. The cost of running two vehicles is less that ₹90,000 a month. About 1,000 samples are being transported every day at a cost of ₹70 for each sample. With more samples, the cost would come down further, said Dr. Numpelil.

The scheme goes thus. A vehicle starts collecting samples from Kothamangalam hospital and moves via Perumbavoor, Angamaly, Paravur and Aluva hospitals and then reaches the hub centres. Another one starts from the Muvattupuzha General Hospital and collects samples from Piravom, Thripunithura, Fort Kochi, Karuvelipady, Mattanchery and reaches the hubs.

Cancer biopsy, papsmear, metabolic screening of newborns, cartridge-based nucleic acid amplification test (CBNAAT) for TB, sepsis management, and antimicrobial resistance are some of the tests.

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Printable version | Jan 30, 2020 12:12:27 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/a-shorter-effective-route-to-heaclthcare-hubs/article30479304.ece

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