Ever imagined a hospital without a doctor? Then how can you imagine a pathology lab without a pathologist?
Such was the case when Maharashtra Medical Council investigated the pathology units in Maharashtra at the complaint of Maharashtra Association of Practicing Pathologists and Microbiologists regarding malpractices. Resultant to the enquiry, it did discover many cases malpractices of issuing diagnostic reports without due supervision and guidance under a qualified pathologist. Many instances were found where diagnostic labs were being run by non-pathologists, manned only on the reliance of technicians. In many others, reports were being generated in the name of pathologists who were not even associated with the laboratories.
Speaking to Medical Dialogues, Dr Kishore Taori, President MMC said,” We have initiated action against a number of pathologists involved in unethical practices. These pathologists were giving their letter heads and stamps to non-pathologist personnel and reports were being generated by these people without verification. In one case, a person was found in jail due to some other reasons yet still his letter head and stamps were being used for reporting.”
” There are two types of cases involved in such cases”, explained Dr Prem Aggarwal, Former Member, Ethics committee, Delhi Medical Council. ” The first of the case, with a non-pathologist doctor signing pathology reports which is equivalent to quackery, while the second one involves a pathologist doctor certifying a report with his/her signature without verifying it. This is clearly against the code of medical ethics.”
MMC had sent notices to approx 20-25 doctors in the past six months and demanded replies. Few people who have been served notices, have excused themselves saying they were not aware of the law properly and have been given a stern warning. Others are still contesting the same and the outcome is still awaited.
Meanwhile Maharashtra Association of Practicing Pathologists and Microbiologists have taken a firm stand in informing members not to do such unethical practices and also has assured that they will point out anyone who doing such thing and will protect the name of pathologist and doctors.