Medical labs brutally exploit patients in KP

ST Investigations

PESHAWAR: An investigation has uncovered a widespread malpractice by majority of the private medical laboratories across Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, particularly Peshawar, where patients are being overcharged for substandard lab testing services, while the authorities concerned have adopted silence over this burning issue.

According to sources, these laboratories prioritizing profits over patient care by compromising the accuracy and reliability of test results, whereas many labs are using outdated equipment, unqualified staff, and substandard reagents to cut the costs and maximize their profits.

The sources revealed that there were huge lapses in their quality control, adding that the level of human resources was also very poor as unprofessional and inexperienced staff was performing duties over there, endangering the precious human lives.

“It is a very shocking thing that many labs even charge the patients and take their blood and other samples, but don’t perform the tests and just handover results to patients on paper,” disclosed the sources.

They added that such laboratories displayed the documents of qualified and experienced pathologists in their setups, but no one would find them on the spot and lab technicians etc. signed the test results using the pathologists’ names.

Patients and healthcare professionals alike have expressed outrage and concern over the situation. “It is a matter of life and death,” said Dr Muhammad Khan, adding that inaccurate test results could lead to misdiagnosis and inappropriate treatment, putting the patients at great risk.

As per sources, there are thousands of medical laboratories in the province, especially Peshawar, but 700 plus labs are only registered with Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Health Care Commission (KPHCC).

When contacted the CEO, KPHCC Dr Nadeem Akhter, he said that there would be multiple issues in lab testing system, but Health Care Commission was trying its best as per its resources and capacity to bring reformation, adding that whenever the commission received any complaint, it immediately responded, whereas registration and licensing of labs had been started and all of them would be streamlined according to new rules and standards.

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