Two months after radiologists threatened to move Supreme Court over the governments move to restrict portable sonography machines,the Indian Radiological and Imaging Association (IRIA) has decided against it.
Concerned over the skewed child sex ratio in the state,the Bombay High Court in November told the IRIA that portable ultrasound machines should not be used outside hospital premises. Following this,the IRIA announced that it would appeal against the Bombay High Courts order in Supreme Court. However,admitting rampant misuse of ultrasound machines following the recent cases of female foeticide in the state,the IRIA has now decided to comply with the HC order.
In the past few months,it was seen that ultrasound machines were being blatantly misused. There were doctors who would secretly transport machines in their vehicles and perform tests illegally. In the interior parts of the state,the doctors would perform tests in farmhouses,away from the public glare, said Dr Jignesh Thakker,secretary general,IRIA.
The recent crackdown on female foeticide in the state has brought radiologists under the scanner. The state has around 2,382 registered ultrasound machines,of which 1,618 are in Mumbai. In a meeting held with State Health Minister Suresh Shetty last week,it was decided that each clinic would have only one ultrasound machine. We admitted to the health minister that we were not aware of the extent of misuse of the machines. If certain rules help the larger cause,we are willing to comply with them, Thakker said.
It was also decided that members of the IRIA,Mahrashtra Medical Council (MMC),BMC as well as state health officials will meet on the first Monday of every month to discuss the progress of their anti-foeticide campaign.
Several cases against defaulters have been pending because there is lack of communication between the local civic bodies and the MMC. The powers of the MMC are restricted to cancellation of licenses. Further,necessary action only be initiated if the authorities concerned work in tandem, said Dr S Utture,MMC member.
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