ICMR starts revising the current National Essential Diagnostics List for the first time

Syllabus: GS-III

Subject: Economic Development

Topic: Issues relating to the development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health.

Context: ICMR Initiates First Revision of National Essential Diagnostics List (NEDL).

Issue: Revision of National Essential Diagnostics List


  • The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) begins the revision process for the NEDL, emphasizing the need to update since its 2019 release.
  • Stakeholders are encouraged to consider essentiality, disease burden, alignment with public health standards, and cost-effectiveness when proposing changes to the NEDL. And suggest additions or deletions to the NEDL by the end of February, ensuring a comprehensive and inclusive review.
  • The NEDL identifies fundamental diagnostic tests crucial at various healthcare facility levels, promoting accessibility across the healthcare system.
  • In response to a 2018 World Health Organisation recommendation, ICMR released India’s first NEDL in 2019, marking a significant step towards integrated healthcare diagnostics.
  • Essential diagnostic tests should address high disease burden, with clear impacts on disease diagnosis and management, aligning with Indian Public Health Standards.

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The National Essential Diagnostics List (NEDL) is a list of medical tests that are considered essential for the diagnosis and treatment of common diseases at various levels of healthcare in India.The list includes 117 general laboratory tests for a broad range of common conditions for the diagnosis of communicable and non-communicable diseases, 29 disease-specific tests for HIV, hepatitis, tuberculosis, dengue, malaria, and area-endemic diseases, and  24 imaging tests such as X-rays, computerized tomography scans, magnetic resonance imaging scans and ultrasound sonography .

Conclusion: The revision process aims to ensures the NEDL stays current with evolving healthcare requirements and technological advancements.

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