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Checks on ultrasound and MTP centres to continue: Govt

Health authorities will continue their drive to check illegal sex selection as the government is in no mood to relent on the inspections being carried out on ultrasound and medical termination of pregnancy centres.

Health authorities will continue their drive to check illegal sex selection as the government is in no mood to relent on the inspections being carried out on ultrasound and medical termination of pregnancy (MTP) centres. This was decided at a meeting of the state supervisory board chaired by state health minister Suresh Shetty.

Speaking to The Indian Express, Shetty said that doctors cannot shirk responsibility and cry foul regarding filling Form F that records the medical history of a pregnant woman. The doctors had earlier aired their grievances about the harassment they faced from health authorities in this regard. They had called for a modification in the filling of Form F as any problem in filling the form often leads to health authorities sealing ultrasound machines on technical grounds instead of detecting illegal sex selection.

“Several medical associations have submitted their grievances regarding Form F. I want to make it clear that doctors are legally bound by the PC-PNDT Act to fill the date,age,and other columns in the form properly. Health authorities are not victimising anyone. We have to implement the Act to save the girl child and doctors cannot get away by not filling form F,” Shetty said. “Most of the convictions are based on the fact that doctors have not filled details regarding the medical history of a pregnant woman,” the minister said.

Doctors had also claimed that the quantum of punishment meted out to an offender for filling the form incorrectly was similar to that for determining the sex of a foetus. The state supervisory board,however,said that the issue of punishment was a court decision.

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He said the government had introduced a new software that will help doctors fill the form F online. The format is being tested at the government hospitals and will be rolled out in a couple of weeks in each district. The doctors will have to keep a hard copy of the form.

When contacted,Dr Sanjay Gupte,former president of the Federation of Obstetric and Gynaecological Society of India,said the issue will now be taken up at the Central Supervisory Board meeting that will be held on July 20.

Meanwhile,meeting of the state supervisory board ratified decisions that allow gynaecologists to prescribe abortion drugs.

First published on: 06-07-2012 at 01:16 IST
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