Bengaluru: Govt to crackdown on erring x-ray centres

Bengaluru: People in the city are getting fleeced due to the unholy nexus between physicians and diagnostic centres, with the former referring patients to the latter for a commission. With no laws in place, many private x-ray centres in the city are charging exorbitant fees. Sometimes the hapless patients are even made to undergo tests that are not required. These x-ray centres also flout safety norms laid down by the government. Patients often develop health complication after undergoing x-ray tests at these centres. In order to curb this menace, the government has decided to crackdown on such establishments. In collaboration with National Health Mission and the health and family welfare department the state government has decided to cancel the licence of all x-ray centres across the state that are not following rules.

An individual radiation safety agency will be formed that will visit each and every centre across the state and issue notices to those violating norms. If they still refuse to follow the norms, then the agency will cancel their licence.  The agency also plans to issue licence for a period of only five years, after which the centres will have to renew them.

Dr Swatantra Kumar Banakar, deputy director for state blood cell said, “We want to take action against those x-ray centres, which are not following the norms, and  fleecing patients.”

At present there are more than 8,000 private and 458 government x-ray centres in the state. Some of the common violations include, structural defect of the premises, not taking of x-ray under closed doors, no use of aprons, faulty defected barium court are some of the basic violations.

While an x-ray at government centres costs around Rs 100, with total waiver for Arogya Karnataka the BPL card holders and 70% concession for APL card holders,  the private centres charge around Rs 400 to Rs 1,200. The government is also planning to lay down norms on prices.

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