New Delhi: Asking for the long pending amendments to the PC-PNDT Act, radiologists under the umbrella organisation Indian Radiological and Imaging Organisation ( IRIA) have now written to the Union health minister, Shri JP Nadda demanding urgent amendments to the act. The doctors have clearly threatened a nationwide strike of all radiologists from September 1,2016 if their demands are yet again ignored by the government.
Amendments to the act, have now been in the pipeline for a long time. A series of meetings have been held over the past year, yet no outcome has been achieved till now. Moreover, in the absence of the said amendments, non uniform implementation have resulted in sealing of many ultrasound machines depriving many a radiologists of their livelihood and having to face criminal proceedings in court on minor clerical mistakes. Doctors are again and again resorting to the medium of strikes to fight the unnecessary harassment at the hands of officials
Not just this, radiologists are now keeping away from ultrasounds fearing unfair prosecution under PC & PNDT Act. Acting like a proverbial albatross, the provisions of the act have now become strong deterrent for fresh doctors choosing the specialization of radiology, with the branch that was once the most coveted, now losing its luster . Many practitioners have already stopped performing level-II ultrasounds, while many others planning to give up obstetrics ultrasounds altogether.
” Under The PC & PNDT Act, non uniform implementation have resulted in sealing of many ultrasound machines depriving Radiologists of their livelihood and having to face criminal proceedings in court on minor clerical mistake. It is becoming impossible for Radiologists to continue practicing with the morbid fear of unfair prosecution under PC & PNDT Act. The healthcare in India is primarily dependent upon small and medium-sized private medical set-ups, since Government healthcare facilities are grossly inadequate. Despite that, if the government officials continue to harass honest Radiologist, then Radiologists have no option but to stop practicing. Why should an honest Radiologist face a jail term for no fault of his?,” said Dr OP Bansal, President IRIA.
The doctors have urged the Health Minister to urgently cater to the following demands
- Clerical errors in form F/not wearing of apron/non display of notice board/not keeping hand book on PC & PNDT Act should not be equated with Sex determination and Criminal of Offence.
- Punishment should be grade (in line with the offence)
- There should standardize implementation of PC & PNDT Act throughout the country.
- Ultrasound machines should not be sealed and medical qualification should not be cancelled on minor clerical error
- The Gazette notification dated 5th June, 2012 regarding restriction to radiologists for visiting more than two ultrasound centre in a District/intimation of change of radiologists and equipment one month in advance should be de-notified suitably amended.
- Renewal of PC &PNDT registration should not be denied until and unless case is proved in the court of law.
Doctors have clearly stated that if the government ignores their demands this time, then members of IRIA will be constrained to go on indefinite strike from 1st September, 2016 with in the first phase not performing any ultrasound examinations and then indefinite stoppage of all radiology procedures like CT, MRI, X-RAYs till solution of their problems and justice is served.