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Diagnostic reports ‘have no signature of authorised pathologist’; police case against lab

In 2017, the Supreme Court directed that a pathologist must counter-sign laboratory reports, even if it is signed by a technician.

The Maharashtra Association of Practicing Pathologist and Microbiologist had approached the Mumbai Police in February this year on the suspicion that the laboratory was functioning without a pathologist. (Express photo/Representational)

Pant Nagar police in Ghatkopar has registered a case against a pathology laboratory for providing diagnostic reports allegedly without the signature of an authorised pathologist.

The police have now written to the Medical Council of India (MCI) to verify whether Jaywantsingh G Saluja, who has been signing the reports, is a registered medical practitioner.

“The chargesheet is yet to be filed. We have recorded statement of the witnesses and further investigation is on,” said investigating officer Praful Savde.

The Maharashtra Association of Practicing Pathologist and Microbiologist had approached the Mumbai Police in February this year on the suspicion that the laboratory was functioning without a pathologist. In September, the police registered a case against Saluja, who handles Sohum Healthcare and Diagnostic Centre, under Section 420 (cheating) under the Indian Penal Code, along with sections 33 (2) (prohibition for medical practice by unregistered person) and 36 under the Maharashtra Medical Practitioners Act,1961, and section 15 (3) under the Indian Medical Council Act, 1956, related to a person practicing without qualification.

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According to association member doctor Subodh Gujrathi’s complaint with the police, in February, his 38-year-old patient visited Sohum Healthcare and Diagnostic Centre, Ghatkopar east, for urine test. In his complaint, Gujrathi alleged that Saluja mentioned his credentials as MD, DND, and PhD in Pathology. He alleged that a digital sign of a pathologist was found on the report.

“When we checked, we found that Saluja had not even done MBBS. He only held a degree in PhD in biochemistry. He had no degree as a pathologist,” said doctor Prasad Kulkarni, a member of the Maharashtra Association of Practicing Pathologist and Microbiologist.

In 2017, the Supreme Court directed that a pathologist must counter-sign laboratory reports, even if it is signed by a technician. In the complaint with Pant Nagar police, Gujrathi said: “All lab reports must be signed/counter signed by pathologist registered under the MCI or state medical council.”

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The association that has been exposing illegally operating laboratories for the past 15 years, claims that the racket of laboratory reports being delivered under no supervision of pathologist is rampant in Maharashtra. “There is no registry of laboratories. It becomes difficult to monitor or keep them under the radar,” said Prasad.

First published on: 02-11-2018 at 03:56:12 am
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