Mangaluru, Aug 31, 2015: It is locally reported here that Minister for health and family welfare U T Khader told media that a newborn screening unit was opened at a cost of Rs 3 crore in Sir C V Raman General Hospital in Bengaluru.
The government is mulling over making newborn screening tests compulsory across the state.
He said that the new unit will be capable of screening congenital disorders, including thy roid, enzyme deficiency and gender anomaly in newborn babies.
The unit has the capacity to conduct an average of 2,000 tests per day, Khader said, adding that the department has plans to make newborn screening tests mandatory soon. An average of 70,000 - 80,000 deliveries takes place in the state every month. We have plans to make early detection tests compulsory for all babies born in government and private hospitals. While the tests will be made available for the poor in government hospitals for free, a minimum charge will be collected from private hospitals .
Those hospitals will receive reports through emails, Khader said, adding that a circular in this regard will be issued soon. Each test under the newborn screening costs Rs 512, but the state will bear the expenses in government hospitals. The department is yet to fix rates for private hospitals. Public reaction is yet to be seen.