Blood tests, X-rays to be free at govt hospitals in Uttarakhand

The state government has taken several decisions in a bid to offer quality medical services to people for free including free blood test and X-ray facilities and distribution of free generic drugs at government hospitals, Negi told the House. Not only BPL but even APL families can avail of these facilities from April, he said in reply to an adjournment motion proposed by BJP MLA Madan Kaushik on the issue of declining health facilities especially for the poor at state run hospitals. The Health Minister said another decision paving the way for free treatment of children up to the age of 18 afflicted by chronic diseases is in the pipeline. BJP MLA Madan Kaushik, who earlier proposed an adjournment motion on the issue of declining standards of health facilities especially for the poor at government hospitals, said poor people had to pay Rs 14 as registration fee at state-run health facilities which was too exorbitant for them. He said that they had to pay Rs 80-100 for blood and X-ray tests. Giving the example of neighbouring Uttar Pradesh, he said registration fee at government hospitals there was nil. "If a state like UP whose population is 10 times more than ours can offer this facility to its people, why can't Uttarakhand?" Leader of Opposition Ajay Bhatt asked, endorsing Kaushik's views. Replying specifically to the charge of exorbitant registration fees being paid by poor people at government hospitals, the Health Minister said the registration fees were revised in 2010 with a hike of ten percent when the BJP was in power.

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