The ongoing strike by radiologists across the state against what they called irrational implementation of the PCPNDT Act was called off on Wednesday, with the Maharashtra State Branch of Indian Radiology and Imaging Association (MSBIRIA) stating that Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis had promised to look into their demands.
The protest at Azad Maidan and the shutdown of radiology services since June 20 was in order to protest the arrest and charges against Dr Ashutosh Jape in Pune and similar charges against 52 other doctors under the said law.
The Pre-Conception and Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques (PCPNDT) Act bans prenatal sex determination and monitors any possible misuse of prenatal diagnostic techniques.
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A committee of the protesting radiologists held a meeting with Fadnavis on Tuesday, putting forward their demands to quash all charges against Dr Jape, release his machines and to issue clear guidelines for uniform implementation of the Act so that officers do not initiate such harsh action, including sealing of machines for errors in paperwork.
“The CM has agreed to our demands and thus we are calling off the strike but we will make sure the promises made to us are fulfilled,” said Dr Jignesh Thakker, coordinator for Indian Radiology and Imaging Association (IRIA).
The MSBIRIA feels the PCPNDT Act is not wrong but a basic deficiency is the possibility of punishment for small errors in record maintenance. “How can a radiologist be blamed for female foeticide for a paperwork error,” said one of the protesters. “We are not asking any change in the Act but its implementation,” said Dr Sanjeev Mani, MD, honorary secretary, MSBIRIA.