Govt starts draft workThe government has started drafting Laboratory Bill that aims to classify various government and non-government laboratories while also expanding the services to health facilities at grass roots level.
The government has started drafting Laboratory Bill that aims to classify various government and non-government laboratories while also expanding the services to health facilities at grass roots level.
The Ministry of Health (MoH) has begun drafting the bill after getting consent from Law Ministry and Ministry of Finance.
The bill proposes three types of public health laboratories—national, regional and district. The bill has classified government hospital-based laboratories under six
categories, from A to E. Laboratories at central hospitals, which can conduct a majority of the tests, fall under category A; laboratories at zonal, regional and sub-regional hospitals (category B); laboratories at district hospitals (category C); laboratories at Public Health Centres capable of detecting any preliminary signs of problems in liver (category D) and laboratories at health posts (category E).
“This bill is really essential. We did not have any strong legal basis to take action against any labs that are not up to the standards,” said Dr Geeta Shakya, director of National Public Health Laboratory.
The disparity in laboratory reports of same person has been a major issue in prescribing medication among doctors. Many experts believe that failure to regulate the laboratory and reagents that are brought into the country has led to such discrepancies in lab reports.
The draft bill has also proposed scrapping of the position of laboratory assistant, calling for hiring more qualified staff in health institutes.
According to Health Ministry Spokesperson Mahendra Shrestha, they will finalise the draft in a month and send it to the Ministry of Finance for review. Once approved by the Ministry of Finance, the bill will be forwarded to the Cabinet for review and then to Parliament for final endorsement as Laboratory Act.