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DAILY NEWS ANALYSIS

GS-II :
  • 17 August, 2019

  • Min Read

India gets its first national essential diagnostics list.

GS-II: India gets its first national essential diagnostics list

Context

National Essential Diagnostics List (NEDL)

  • Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has finalised India’s first National Essential Diagnostics List (NEDL). With this, India has become the first country to have such a list.
  • The World Health Organisation (WHO) released a first edition of its essential diagnostics list (EDL) in May, 2018. This has acted as a reference for ICMR’s NEDL.
  • The NEDL is on the lines of the essential drugs list, the National List of Essential Medicines (NLEM) which was first released in 1996. It was last updated in 2015.
  • The NEDL has recommended that at least 159 tests should be made available for patients in even primary government health facilities.
  • The diagnostics list mentions 105 general laboratory tests for a broad range of common conditions. It also mentions 30 disease-specific tests such as for HIV, hepatitis, tuberculosis, and 24 imaging tests including X-rays, CT and MRI scans and ultrasound sonography.
  • The NEDL has been based on the Free Diagnostics Service Initiative and other diagnostics initiatives of the Health Ministry to provide an expanded basket of tests at different levels of the public health system.

How are diagnostics regulated?

  • In India, diagnostics (medical devices and in vitro diagnostics) follow a regulatory framework based on the drug regulations under the Drugs and Cosmetics Act, 1940 and Drugs and Cosmetics Rules 1945.
  • Diagnostics are regulated under the regulatory provisions of the Medical Device Rules, 2017.

Why need NEDL?

  • Diagnostics serve a key role in improving health and quality of life.
  • While affordability of diagnostics is a prime concern in low, and middle-income countries like India, low-cost, inaccurate diagnostics have made their way into the Indian market which has no place in the quality health care system.
  • NEDL builds upon the Free Diagnostics Service Initiative and other diagnostics initiatives of the Health Ministry to provide an expanded basket of tests at different levels of the public health system.

Importance

  • Availability of quality assured diagnostics would be helpful in optimal utilization of the Essential Medicine List (EML).
  • It will help India in achieving Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 3.8 i.e. Universal Health Coverage (UHC).
  • Implementation of NEDL will enable improved health care delivery through evidence-based care, improved patient outcomes and reduction in out-of-pocket expenditure effective utilization of public health facilities effective assessment of disease burden, disease trends, surveillance, and outbreak identification and address antimicrobial resistance crisis.
  • It will also enable standardization of technology services and will aid in the promotion of R&D for new appropriate and effective diagnostics which in turn will lead to reduction in costs.

Source: The Hindu


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