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SC Decision on Lab Reports will create shortage, promote Signature lending: AHPI

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SC Decision on Lab Reports will create shortage, promote Signature lending: AHPI

New Delhi: With the Supreme Court judgment clearly enunciating who can sign lab reports based on the recommendations of the MCI , the Association of Healthcare Providers (India)  have now written to the Union Health Ministry, informing that the said decision is going to create an artificial shortage of signatories of lab reports with only a meagre number of qualified pathologists being available to sign the huge number of laboratory reports in the country.

The association was also seen stating that the decision may have an adverse effect in terms to encouraging the practice of signature lending, whereby pathologists would begin lending electronic signatures from one central office to hundreds of test reports and hamper the quality of laboratory reports.

Medical Dialogues team had earlier reported that resting the case on the issue of who can sign laboratory reports, a recent supreme court judgment had clearly stated that a Laboratory Report can be countersigned only by a registered medical practitioner with a postgraduate qualification in pathology.

Read Also: Only MCI registered PG Pathology can sign Laboratory Reports: Supreme Court

The move has now met with concern from the medical body, which has stated that this would lead to an “artificial” shortage of competent people, who would be allowed the sign laboratory reports. AHPI also pointed out that as of now, the country does not have enough MD Pathologists to deal with the work load alone

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“The judgment will have serious repercussion for the healthcare fraternity since we have only around 5500 MD Pathology in the country. We have around 9500 professionals with MD Microbiology and MD Biochemistry qualification. Postgraduate degree holders in Microbiology and Biochemistry are around 20000. Add to this number we have about 1500 Ph.D. in Biochemistry, Microbiology, Genetics and Molecular biology. All put together we have 36,500 qualified personnel, who have been till now the authorized signatories for various medical test reports. By virtue of the SC order, we will be left with only 5500 persons, who would be authorized to sign the report,” said Dr Girdhar Gyani, Director General of Association of Healthcare Providers India (AHPI)

The Association stated that the decision is going to lead to a huge shortage of signatories for lab reports, and may also have some disastrous consequences via signature lending.

“Considering that there are about 3 lakhs of medical testing laboratories in India, it will be humanly impossible for 5500 MD Pathology persons to handle the workload. These professionals will be pushed to become visiting signatory authorities covering many cities. Pathologists may begin lending electronic signatures from one central office to hundreds of test reports. All this will hamper the authenticity of test reports, which are the sole basis for physicians to prescribe treatment. 5500 MD Pathology will hardly be enough even for major tier-I/II cities. This will adversely affect the availability of signatories in smaller towns; rural areas would be worst sufferers,” Dr Gyani informed

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25 comment(s) on SC Decision on Lab Reports will create shortage, promote Signature lending: AHPI

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  1. Supreme court order will lead to malpractice on unmonitored reports and signature selling which is very dangerous and more over pathologist will not work in night properly because of work load..many qualified technicians and degree holders will get unemployed or on mercy of pathologist..court should come up with a alternative

  2. Many tests are done automatically by electronic devices. If the macines are regularly calibrated and standardized. This statement that \” the calibration was done on this date as per the guidelines\” should serve as the signature. This statement should be incorporated into the machine software at each calibration activity/ certification, just as \”fresh before — date\”. Lab technicians effectively get most of the lab work done from properly maintained equipments with little supervision from experts. Many experts run too many labs in the city.

  3. The supreme court judgment is a disaster and absolutely absurd.
    There will never be enough pathologists in the country to sign all the lab reports.
    What about all the small towns and villages? Does it mean that these places will not have labs and cannot have any blood tests done? Do lives in small towns and villages not matter.
    Instead of introducing regulations which are impossible to follow, it is better to improve the quality of services.
    Introduce Quality assessment programmes throughout the country which are compulsory to follow.
    Ensure that the local Government conducts regular audits of labs and their quality assurance schedules both Daily QC and EQAS.
    No lab which earns even a little bit will be unwilling to join such a programme. They would be proud to tell their clients that they are accredited by the local government.
    QCs are very inexpensive and can be easily introduced.
    Saying that only pathologists will sign lab reports and thereby close down thousands of labs or get proxy signatures will kill millions of Indians and ensure that another series of corruption scams will ensue.

  4. The supreme court judgement is appropriate. There can be no debate on this. But what about these DMLT\’s sending their servants to collect blood samples from patients in hospital and from homes.Can this be allowed. There are Labs where the servants who are mot even SSC pass they go to collect blood. Now how can one expect these persons to know wether the sample collected is from artery or vein. This practice should be stopped at the earliest.I know one such Lab in Ghatkopar East Mumbai where this is routine practice of the DMLT person who sends his servant to peoples house and Nursing home to collect samples and in turn he is paid almost half the visit charge collected by the pathologist. This practice of sending servants for collection shouild be stopped .

  5. user
    Dr P S Ramesh Babu January 13, 2018, 10:57 am

    It is a Judgement in the right direction
    The MCI ruling that only Registered Medical Practitioner can sign a report previously is also in the right direction
    Only clarification remaining is to divide the lab reports into general and special reports, wherein only the special reports need to be countersigned by a specialist Registered Medical Practitioner

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