Two labs get notice for hiked swine flu test prices

In a separate incident, man gets arrested for selling fake medicines for the flu as fresh cases get reported

New Delhi: The Delhi government on Saturday issued notices to two private laboratories for overcharging suspected swine flu patients for their screening tests, an official said. The notices have been served to south Delhi-based Healthcare Diagnostics and west Delhi-based Global Diagnostics, after a surprise check was conducted by a health ministry team on the directions of Delhi health minister Satyendra Jain on Friday.

On February 18, the Directorate of Health Services (DHS) had directed all the 10 laboratories designated for conducting swine flu tests not to charge more than R4,500. In the notices, the labs have been asked why their licences should not be cancelled for cheating people in distress by failing to comply with the specified norms.

It has also been found that these two laboratories have not been accredited by the state government for conducting the H1N1 tests. In Delhi, nine deaths from swine flu have been reported so far. In a separate incident on Saturday, a hospital employee was arrested for selling fake medicines forswine flu in the capital.

Charan Singh was arrested from RK Hospital in Gurgaon, while he was supplying fake swine flu medicines. At least 17 people have died of swine flu in Haryana, while 11 more people died in Gujarat. Nine trainee policemen at Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel National Police Academy in Hyderabad have tested positive for swine flu.

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