Docs allege harassment by health authorities

Grievances to be aired at supervisory board meet in Mumbai today

Written by Anuradha Mascarenhas | Published: July 5, 2012 3:40:04 am

Grievances to be aired at supervisory board meet in Mumbai today

A woman in her second trimester of pregnancy comes to the hospital with severe bleeding and pain. Should she be denied admission or should the doctor first call the health officer to check whether it was a case of female foeticide.

Doctors have to keep emergency life saving drugs like misopristol and others. Food and Drug Administration authorities during their inspection seize these medicines and look at the doctors suspiciously as though they have found narcotics like opium. Apart from being used as an abortion drug,there are other important indications of misopristol as well.

The all important Form ‘F’ which records medical history of the pregnant woman,if not properly filled,amounts to sealing of the ultrasound machine. Several doctors who wrote N.A. against queries in the form instead of spelling it out as non applicable were pulled up and their ultrasound machine was sealed.

These were some of the issues taken up in a meeting at Meera hospital on Wednesday where doctors from across the city and various districts of the state vented their frustration regarding harassment they faced from health authorities who inspected sonography and abortion centres.

A month-long drive by the state health authorities to check illegal sex selection has led to 291 sonography centres being pulled up for violating provisions of the Pre-Conception and Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques Act and 341 Medical Termination of Pregnancy Centres derecognized in the state.

Dr Sanjay Gupte,past president of the Federation of Obstetric and Gynaecological Society of India (FOGSI) and a member of the Central Supervisory Board to implement the PC-PNDT Act said he had to call a meeting ever since he was flooded with complaints from the district units of FOGSI doctors.

The meeting took stock of the situation where doctors had faced harassment by health authorities and will submit them to the state supervisory board meeting to be held on Thursday in Mumbai. The meeting had several doctors threatening to refrain from obstetric ultrasound and even performing medical termination of pregnancies if they were continually pulled up and publicly humiliated.

Dr Sudarshan Naval,President of FOGSI in Jalgaon who came all the way to Pune said that 55 ultrasound centres were sealed in Jalgaon during the month long inspection. The reason was that certain columns in Form F were not signed or other trivial reasons for writing N.A. instead of not applicable,he lamented.

Dr Ravi Sathe,from Daund admitted that while doctors were not above the law,it was a pity that they were treated as petty criminals.

One of the main criticism was against filling Form F’s 19 columns which were not relevant while performing the ultrasound examination of the pregnant woman. There is a need to modify this form,Dr Varsha Dhawale,treasurer of the Nagpur Obstetric and Gynaecological society said.

Gupte also pointed out that while the government had acknowledged that the gynaecologist did not require training to perform the ultrasound,the Maharashtra government did not consider the fact and pulled up doctors if they did not show the training certificate.

“Ultrasound examination is part of our medical training,” Gupte said and pointed out that all these issues will be taken up both at the state level meeting on Thursday and at the CSB’s meeting on July 20.

Doc caught in 2006 sting op dismissed

Dr Mohan Nagane,a radiologist who was caught red-handed conducting a sex determination test during a sting operation by Kiran Moghe-led Janwadi Mahila Sanghatana in 2006,was dismissed from service on Wednesday. A court had convicted him to three-year imprisonment on December 25,2011.

While Nagane had moved the Bombay high court,the government had reinstated him as a medical officer at Shikrapur rural hospital in Shirur tehsil of Pune district.

Meanwhile,the Pune Municipal Corporation sealed Ruby Hall Clinic’s cardiac doppler machine for not being registered.

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