Patho agents rule the roost at Bhadrak Community Health Centre, misguide patients

Bhadrak: Patients reaching the Community Health Centre (CHC) at Chandbali in Bhadrak are having a harrowing time dealing with private patho labs that have mushroomed in and around the hospital.

“Even before we reach the hospital premises, ‘dalals’ engaged by these labs intercept us and start bombarding us unwanted suggestions. They follow us all around the hospital and even to the doctors. One of them snatched away my prescription and forced me to undergo diagnostic tests at his shop, “said Maheshwar Behera, a patient.

Such is the situation that many patients are unaware that many of the diagnostic tests prescribed by the doctors can be done free of cost at the hospital itself.

Some agents even go to the extent of convincing patients to directly undergo tests at their outlets without consulting a doctor, informed sources.

“They manipulate the patients and do not allow them a chance to inquire about the services available at the hospital,” said Ashok Das, attendant of a patient.

Interestingly, a good number of women are part of this aggressive marketing. These females, particularly target pregnant women and gullible elderly patients and force them to undergo tests at their outlets.

Doctors at the CHC admitted to the menace but expressed their helplessness in tackling the problem.

“When asked, they tell us that they are relatives of the patients. Patients too speak in favour of them,” said Pradumna Sahu, a doctor at the hospital said.

CDMO Bhadrak Md Abdul Rashid said that efforts will be made to ensure that such agents are not entertained or allowed inside the hospital premises.

“We shall ask the doctors to inform the patients of the free services available at the hospital,” said Rashid.