Hyderabad: The Indian Council of Medical Research is considering a national list of essential diagnostics so that people are not pushed into getting unwanted tests performed. The ICMR wants to draw up a list of tests for primary care and secondary care in hospitals. The ICMR has taken its cue from the World Health Organisation which lists 58 basic tests.
These include haemoglobin, blood glucose, complete blood count, urine dipstick which can be used for the detection and diagnosis of a wide range of common communicable and non-communicable diseases.
For India, given its infection load, additional tests for tuberculosis, malaria, hepatitis B and C, human papillomavirus and syphilis are in a separate ‘priority’ category.
Dr K.K. Aggarwal, president-elect of the Confederation of Medical Associations in Asia and Oceania, said the idea behind the list was to ensure that patients are only tested for ‘priority infections’ and secondary clinical evidence. “There will be strict guidelines which will have to be followed. There are 55 tests in this category,” Dr Aggarwal said.
The ICMR is clear that the tests will be done to treat patients, unlike the present practice where treatment is given first and testing is done later. The objective is to do away with over-treatment which is becoming more prevalent....