Negligence of private pathology labs in Janakpur puts human health at riskDozens of private pathology labs are operating in the hospital area without registration, locals say.
Well Care Diagnostic Pathology Lab operates in front of the Janakpur Provincial Hospital in Janakpur Hospital Road. The lab, which is not registered with the local unit, is currently running with only one lab assistant.
But it is not only Well Care Lab that is operating without registration and with inadequate manpower. There are dozens of other labs operating similarly in the hospital area. And this lack of monitoring illegal pathology labs is putting increasing risk on human health, say locals.
Mundrika Singh, the health coordinator of Janakpur Sub Metropolis, said some of the labs (which were registered in the past) have not renewed their licence. The Janakpur Sub Metropolis does not have a record of the total number of pathology labs as well.
Pradip Kandel, chief district officer of Dhanusha, said that local unit is responsible to conduct monitoring of labs in accordance to the Consumer Protection Act 2018. He said, “If the local unit does not monitor the labs, then the local administration must shoulder the responsibility.” According to Kandel, the District Administration Office has not received complaints of pathology labs till date.
Krishna Adhikari, a local of Janakpur, said some of the doctors of the provincial hospital are even found referring patients to private pathology laboratories for commission.
Meanwhile, Dr Nagendra Prasad Yadav, medical superintendent of the provincial hospital, said they have been facing another problem: different labs have been providing different reports for the same specimens. This is creating problems in providing patients effective treatment. “We have had different reports of a single specimen from various labs. How can we treat patients effectively with such reports?” said Yadav.
According to him, although the hospital has a lab, they have been compelled to run it with the help of medical students due to a lack of technical staff. Yadav said, “Sometimes we also call lab technicians from outside.”
But even the lab reports prepared by the hospital lab are found to be faulty. A few days ago, the hospital lab prepared two different lab reports of the same urine sample of Sanyaja Sah in Janakpur. This highlights the pitiable condition of the lab of the hospital.
On the other hand, lab operators are also charging fees higher than the stated amount, as they say they have to provide a commission to the agent and doctors of the provincial hospital. Santosh Sah, an operator of Hi-tech Lab in Janakpur, told the Post, “Most of the drug stores have been developed as pathology labs here. That’s why we have to struggle to find patients.”
Even though the doctors of the hospital are found pocketing certain amount of commission from the private laboratories for referring patients, the hospital administration seems to be either unaware of the situation or are blatantly ignoring it. Yadav said, “I am not in a condition to take action against the doctors and other staff of the hospital. If I do so, they will resort to a protest and health services will come to a halt.”