Indore: The health department on Thursday asked private hospitals to send blood and other medical samples for confirmation of H1N1 virus only when it is “highly” required. Integrated Diseases Surveillance Programme nodal officer Dr Asha Pandit said, “We have sent more than 112 samples since January out of which only two were positive. Each sample costs us between Rs 5000 and Rs 5500 for sending it to Bhopal laboratory and testing.”

She said that the department has spent over Rs 5 lakh on testing the samples mostly sent by the private hospitals. “We have directed the hospitals not to send the samples unnecessarily and send the test samples only when patients fall under C category of H1N1,” she said. The department has also released the guidelines for screening the patients to hospitals and directed them to follow it strictly.

Meanwhile, a senior health officer wishing anonymity said “Private hospitals are fooling patients with symptoms of the disease, which are almost similar to fever. They issue them heavy bills as they keep the patient in ICU. Out of so many samples sent by the hospitals to the health department, not single one tested positive so far.” Meanwhile, department has launched a survey in the area of the 34-year-old patient, who was tested positive on Wednesday to prevent others from the disease.

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