Tirupati: Labs mint money as patients run for CT scan as Covid test
- Experts say the CT scan is not at all a standard test for infection
- But people anxious over infection are rushing to labs on their own for some sort of comfort
- Diagnostic centres are charging exorbitant prices, defying government guidelines
Tirupati: Covid-19 pandemic has become a blessing in disguise for some private labs and private hospitals. Cashing in on the anguish and fears of people about the suspected infection of the deadly virus, the labs have started fleecing them in the name of CT (computerised tomography) scans. Ignoring the government guidelines, some private hospitals to refer patients for CT scans joining hand with lab managements.
Also, several patients are going directly to diagnostic centres asking for a CT scan to know the Covid result instantly. While the result through RT-PCR test is taking more than 24 hours to come out, CT-scan result can be known within one hour. In view of this, to get rid of their anxiety people are not hesitating to undergo CT scan and rushing towards scan centres.
This has become a boon for these centres which started collecting huge charges ranging between Rs 3,500 to 6,000.
The government has prescribed CT-scan fee for Covid test as Rs 2,500 which most of the diagnostic centres were not following.
While several doctors are suggesting that it is not correct to go directly for CT scan to determine Covid unless a designated qualified doctor prescribes it, some private hospitals were convincing patients that by undergoing CT scan, correct treatment can be given.
Private hospitals are also insisting that patients undergo CT scan and come with Covid test report for consultation.
This has become a huge burden for the people, particularly for the middle and lower classes.
The Covid-19 nodal officer at Ruia hospital Dr S Subba Rao makes it clear that C scan is not a primary screening test for coronavirus.
Speaking to The Hans India, he said that one has to undergo RT-PCR test to determine Covid.
In case of urgency, rapid antigen tests and TrueNat tests are there.
If a patient gets negative in these tests and still has symptoms then a CT scan may give some indications to the presence of virus in lungs.
Also, aged people having no symptoms and their close contacts of those tested positive can also undergo CT scan. Even all such people do not require it. It is important to go for a CT on the advice of a qualified doctor who will take into consideration all the aspects before recommending it.
In view of the widespread allegations on the diagnostic centres, vigilance and enforcement officials have raided several laboratories in Tirupati recently where it was proved that they are charging exorbitantly.
The district medical and health officials are also saying that they will act tough on those labs who defy government guidelines.