The Hindu (Chennai) (09.20.2013)
Lack of TB case reporting by private hospitals in parts of India could affect efficiency in fighting the disease, according to health officials. Hospitals must report all TB diagnoses, per a 2012 government order by the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, but private institutions worried about data security and losing patients. The reluctance to report all TB cases affect data collection, which then could alter the structure of policies to combat the disease, said M. Sakthivel, deputy director of medical services (TB).
The Government of India provided assistance to all patients with multi-drug resistant TB whether they received treatment at government or private hospital. A government-developed application collected diagnosis reports to provide immediate surveillance of TB cases. Private hospitals then could send case details through other channels of communications.
The World Health Organization (WHO) estimated India’s TB rate at 203 out of 1,000,000 people. According to Indian officials, the major city of Ciombatore should report between 7,100 and 7,300 cases per year, but they were reporting only 2,430 cases annually. Of 400 district hospitals, fewer than 10 percent reported TB cases on a consistent basis, Sakthivel told a local news organization.