Mumbai: Private Pathology Labs Exploit Double The Government-Set Rates For Essential Medical Tests In Maharashtra

Mumbai, 26th July 2023: Amidst a surge in epidemic diseases with the onset of the monsoon and erratic weather fluctuations in the state, private pathology labs are exploiting the diseased patients by charging exorbitant rates for essential medical tests from them. The state government had fixed testing rates to protect citizens from financial exploitation, but numerous pathology labs are flouting regulations and charging patients more than the stipulated rate.

The state’s health department had set the testing rates for epidemic diseases, including a cap of 600 rupees for dengue tests and 3500 to 5000 rupees for swine flu tests. However, private labs have been found to charge patients significantly more, causing distress and financial burden during already challenging times.

The latest incidences revealed various means by which these pathology labs are extorting money from patients. This is done through the levying of extra charges for immediate blood test reports, and similarly, charging double the money for home test facilities.

The private pathology labs were robbing the patients in various ways, and to stop the financial exploitation of the patients, the state government issued instructions regarding the fees of the tests. But the government has not set up a mechanism to implement them and check whether the tests are being conducted properly or not.

Dr. Prasad Kulkarni, executive member of the Maharashtra Association of Practising Pathologists and Microbiologists, said that pathology labs must be registered by the government to conduct tests properly. “Until this registration is done, it is impossible to control the tests conducted by the labs and their fees,” said Kulkarni.