Economic strangulation continues - diagnostic labs in iiojk face closure


Indian government has embarked upon an inhuman and un-precedented path to make the Kashmiri people suffer by suffocating them through coercive economic policies. Recently, Indian government has enacted rule which made it mandatory to have a doctor on board for signing reports in all private medical test labs in IIOJK. Owners of hundreds of Diagnostic Labs in Kashmir fear they may have to wrap up their enterprises with a fresh rule being implemented in the UT that requires every laboratory, even those doing the most basic of tests, to have an MBBS doctor on board. The rule applies to all kind of private laboratories, across board, with no distinction based on the scope of tests being carried out. This was not the case earlier and people with diploma or degree in Lab Technology were able to sign a report in IIOJK. Many diagnostic laboratories that run on very small scales across villages, towns and cities of IIOJ&K, may have to close down if they fail to employ a doctor. The move is sure to render lab technologists jobless and will certainly escalate the prices of diagnostic tests. The health and Medical Education Department, has rejected the renewal of the registrations of private labs which have not hired the services of a MBBS doctor on the pretext that they do not qualify the fresh norms. A representative body of private lab owners said “We have run these labs for decades, after spending time and money for our degrees and diplomas, and now suddenly, the entire scenario has been changed for us”. The Kashmir Private Diagnostic Centres Association (KPDCA) termed the ruling highly discriminatory as the rule does not apply in all states of India. “States like Gujarat, Himachal Pradesh, Rajasthan do not mandate having an MBBS doctor sign the reports of basic tests. Indian government has been systematically involved in depriving the Kashmiris from their basic rights of respectful survival. Over a period of time, especially after the abrogation of Articles 370&35A the Indian government has resorted to enactment of different illegal laws to alter the demography of IIOJK. Creation of job opportunities of non-Kashmiris is also part of the Indian plan to alter the demography of the region.