Health Ministry suspends CBC tests in urgent-care clinics

A special ministry committee has been appointed to look into the matter.

January 29, 2018 17:19
emergency  room

A PATIENT is brought into the emergency room at Soroka University Medical Center in Beersheba as people in the waiting room look on.. (photo credit: MAARIV)

The Health Ministry has suspended until further notice permission for urgent-care community clinics, such as Terem and Bikur Rofeh, to conduct complete blood count (CBC) tests or to purchase new machines that perform the tests.

Ministry Associate Director-General Prof. Itamar Grotto wrote to hospital and health fund directors and others, saying a special ministry committee had been appointed to look into the matter. But as CBCs are used to examine overall health and detect a wide range of disorders ranging from anemia to infection and leukemia, until the committee decides, many patients will have to wait on long queues in hospital emergency rooms to get diagnosed.

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Asked to comment, the ministry spokesman said, “In order to rely on such tests, it is essential that they be carried out with high quality and reliability. The directive issued related to one specific test and not to all laboratory tests.”

He added that CBCs are not the only consideration when deciding whether to send patients to emergency rooms. After completing its work, the committee will issue recommendations,” the spokesman concluded.

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