LAHORE    -   The Punjab Healthcare Commission on Monday fixed the price of the ELISA dengue test at Rs1,500. According to a directive issued to all private labo­ratories, collection centres and hospital labs of the province, the maximum price of the ELISA dengue NS-1, IgG and IgM test has been fixed at Rs1,500. Also, all the entities, both providing the testing facilities and collecting samples, have been directed not to charge more than the fixed rate. They have been also further directed to mention the machine being used for the test, reagents and kits with their certification, and lastly, individual batch numbers as well. They have also been di­rected that the reporting time should not be more than 24 hours. Earlier on Monday, a consultative meeting was held here at the PHC office with rep­resentatives of the leading laboratories, chaired by Chief Executive Officer PHC Dr Muhammad Saqib Aziz, wherein the consensus was reached to reduce the prices of dengue-related tests in the larger public interest to Rs 1,500. Moreover, the testing entities have also been warned against violating the orders, and violations would entail penal consequences, including fines, suspension of services, deregistration from the PHC, and seal­ing of the premises. 

“To ensure these directions, the authorised PHC officers will inspect and visit hospitals, private laboratories and collection centres from time to time,” warns the directive.

DENGUE COUNTERS SET UP IN LAHORE GENERAL HOSPITAL

On the directions of the Punjab government, the administration of Lahore General Hospital set up dengue counters at emergency/outdoor depart­ments for timely free of cost diagnosis, treatment and guidance of patients suffering from this virus.

Doctors, nurses and other medical staff will be available to treat such patients in the Emergency and OPD. Post Graduate Medical Institute Princi­pal Prof. Dr. Muhammad Al-freed Zafar said this while reviewing the anti-dengue activities, public awareness and the arrangements made to pro­vide the best medical facilities to the patients at LGH, here on Monday. On this occasion, MS LGH Dr. Khalid Bin Aslam told the principal that 56 beds had already been reserved for dengue fever patients while this number would be increased to 200 in view of any need, adding that doctors and nurses had been assigned duties and were not al­lowed to go on leave without approval.

Principal PGMI highlighted that strict moni­toring should be done to eradicate dengue mos­quito breeding in hospital building and the teams formed for this purpose should ensure careful in­spection of roofs, lawns and pots of buildings so that there was no water accumulated at any place which could cause breeding of dengue mosquito.

Similarly the practice of spraying on a daily basis to prevent dengue virus in LGH should also remain continue which would protect patients, families and health professionals, he added. Prof. Al-Fa­reed told MS, nursing administration and AMSs that departmental action should be taken without delay against those who were absent from their duties without prior notice as there could be no compromise on discipline, attendance and patient care. He asked the nursing officers to ensure that their subordinate staff was keeping the medical charts of the patients updated so that the doctors could be aware of their treatment continuously. He said that due to the unusual rains and flood situation in the country, an increase in dengue dis­ease was being seen in most areas of Pakistan, and especially in flood-affected cities, dengue patients were being reported in large numbers, so people associated with medical field had to fulfill their re­sponsibilities in time perfectly.