Saturday, December 15, 2018

Time for National Essential Diagnostics List

ICMR publishes India’s first draft National Essential Diagnostics List

The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) is steering the process of compilation of National Essential Diagnostics List (NEDL) for the country.

The draft NEDL, which has been collated with contributions from all relevant stakeholders is now available for comments on ICMR website at

The NEDL builds upon the Free Diagnostics Service Initiative and other diagnostics initiatives of Health ministry (Indian Public Health Standards, Health and Wellness Centers etc.) to provide an expanded basket of tests at different levels of the public health system. 

EDL has been developed for all levels of health care – village level, Sub-center/Heath & Wellness Centers, Primary Health Center (PHC), Community Health Center (CHC), Sub District Hospital (SDH) and District Hospital (DH). 

Tests for each level of care have been proposed based on the utility and requirement of tests at that level, infrastructure, training available or proposed to be made available through other parallel initiatives of Government of India.  

NEDL consists of 130 general lab tests required for routine patient care and for diagnosis of a wide array of both communicable and non-communicable diseases. 

The 26 disease-specific tests are for diagnosis of specific diseases like Malaria, Dengue, Chikungunya, endemic diseases like Filariasis, Scrub typhus, Japanese Encephalitis and diagnostic tests for TB, HIV and Hepatitis among others.

Tests in the list have been prepared with the description of test category (e.g., Hematology, Biochemistry, Microbiology, Pathology and Serology), specimen type for each test and the product/equipment on which the test is best conducted at the respective level of health care. 

An option of following a ‘hub and spoke model’ has been also suggested for implementing the EDL for certain tests. This will ensure availability of the required number of tests at different levels of facilities in a cost-efficient way.

Availability of comprehensive diagnostic services at all levels will improve patient care and minimise referral of patients because of unavailability of tests.

The list has been put up on ICMR website and comments are solicited from the wider audience by 31st January, 2019.

Dr KK Aggarwal
Padma Shri Awardee
President Elect Confederation of Medical Associations in Asia and Oceania   (CMAAO)
Group Editor-in-Chief IJCP Publications
President Heart Care Foundation of India
Immediate Past National President IMA

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