Major respite to Ophthalmologists, exempted from PCPNDT Act
By Vikas Vaidya
Along with Gynaecologists and Radiologists; Ophthalmologists too were the soft targests as far as the purview of Pre-Conception and Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques (PCPNDT) Act is concerned. Now Government has exempted eye specialists from the ambit of the act, thanks to Indian Medical Association, Maharashtra branch and Maharashtra Medical Council.
In a recently held meeting at Mantralaya, Mumbai under the Chairmanship of Sujata Shaumik, Secretary, Public Health Department, the issue of reevaluation of guidelines and bringing practical solutions was discussed. Twenty stakeholders including several officials of Government, Maharashtra Medical Council Chairman Dr Kishor Taori, IMA Maharashtra President Dr T C Rathod were present.
Meeting was held in the context of raids conducted by appropriate authority in Pune on the establishments of Ophthalmologists. Several ophthalmologists were booked under PCPNDT act and their scan machines were sealed. When the issue was discussed in the meeting the authorities have found that A and B scan machines of ophthalmologists are not capable of conducting sex determination, still they were booked and cases were filed against them. Similarly the intensivists and cardiologists were also harassed. It was unanimously decided by the committee to issue guidelines to State Appropriate Authority and to Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, New Delhi. It is being said that the decision might benefit Intenstive Care Units and Neonatologists.
The meeting has discussed the issue to a large extent and recommended that the machines which are not capable to attach ultrasound probes more than 7.5 megawatts will not be required to register under the PCPNDT law. They also said that the machines used by the cardiologists do have a probe which is capable of detecting sex of fetus. Moreover as far as portability of machines is concerned it was suggested to Cardiological Society of India to install machines in Mobile Vans along with Ultra-sound machines to take care of severely ill patients who can’t come to the hospitals following due process of registration.
Dr. T C Rathod, President of IMA, Maharashtra has taken a lead in organizing this meeting and bringing relief to the medical fraternity. It is one of the first step towards giving relief to the doctors who are not doing obstetric ultrasounds. Several more steps would be taken by IMA, Dr Rathod added further. Medical Fraternity has hailed the efforts of IMA in this regard.