Lab operators get deadline for registration and renewalIn a bid to curb laboratories from operating illegally, the National Public Health Laboratory (NPHL) under the Department of Health Services has decided to register and monitor them regularly.
In a bid to curb laboratories from operating illegally, the National Public Health Laboratory (NPHL) under the Department of Health Services has decided to register and monitor them regularly.
The national reference laboratory has issued a public notice for the purpose, urging all laboratory operators to register and renew with the authority concerned on time.
The NPHL, which is a central laboratory, is mandated for licensing, monitoring, supervision, capacity strengthening of both public and private sectors.
“We have issued a public notice in first phase,” Dr Harischandra Upreti, Director at the NPHL, said, “We are working to fix deadline and ask laboratory operators to get licence within the given deadline.” He concedes that his office could not regulate all laboratories operating throughout the country.
Doctors say a large number of patients have been affected by the dubious reports of illegally operating laboratories. They say that patients could get wrong treatment due to the phony lab reports.
“It is not easy to regulate all laboratories operating in every alley and dispensary,” Dr Upreti said, lamenting that his office did not have sufficient manpower to regulate all laboratories operating across the country.
The NPHL has divided public health laboratories into five categories as per their capacity, equipment and trained manpower. The central lab monitors only A- and B-category laboratories. Regional laboratories, which come under the jurisdiction of provinces, have to monitor laboratories of C and D categories and district public health offices have to monitor E-category laboratories.
Dr Upreti informed that his office had written formal letters to all seven provinces, and district public health offices urging them to register and monitor health laboratories under their jurisdiction. But provincial laboratories and district public health offices are yet to start their job, as they are not properly functioning and reeling under the manpower crisis.
Dr Geeta Shakya, former director of the NPHL, said that all laboratories must be regulated to ensure quality reports.
“NPHL alone cannot monitor all laboratories operating throughout the country,” said Shakya, echoing Upreti that all laboratories of the provinces and district public health offices need to strictly regulate labs that fall under their jurisdiction.
The NPHL said various factors—skill of manpower, equipment, quality of reagents, quality of water and voltage of electricity—affects the lab reports. Dr Shakya said that quality of reagents used by private laboratories should be monitored, as they are operating to make profit.
“No agency in our country monitor quality of reagents, which results in big discrepancies in lab reports,” she said, calling on all agencies concerned agencies for a concerted effort to ensure quality reports.