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Tripura health and family welfare minister Sudip Roy Barman on Saturday launched a mega free clinical laboratory service across the State on Saturday.

During the launch, the minister said that world class standard 24-hour free clinical laboratory services were introduced in six districts and 12 sub-divisional government-run hospitals and the Indira Gandhi Memorial Hospital in Agartala on a public private partnership (PPP) model.

He said the free services, which include 53 to 60 types of medical tests to be conducted at the newly set up laboratories in 19 hospitals, were introduced under the National Health Mission programme.

The health minister further said that routine and special tests would be conducted in these pathological laboratories, which would soon get the NABL (National Accreditation Board for Testing and Calibration Laboratory) accreditation. The reports will be handed over within two hours or a week, depending on the nature of the tests.

Roy Barman also said that according to a survey conducted in the state, on an average people spent 40 per cent of their income on medicine and medical treatment.

Speaking on the occasion, Shailesh Kumar, mission director, National Health Mission in Tripura, said the services were the first of its kind in the entire Northeast.

The Tripura Health and Family Welfare Department and a Vijayawada-based private hospital in Andhra Pradesh have signed a deal to run the services, for which the Union Health and Family Welfare Ministry has provided a substantial fund.