Mumbai: Reiterating the stand of the courts, that a PG in Pathology Doctor is a must to run any path lab that is providing reports to patients, the Bombay High Court disposed off three PILs that were filed in this regard.
The issue of illegal pathology laboratories running without the presence of any doctor has been long pressing in the state. According to the Maharashtra Association of Practicing Pathologists and Microbiologists (MAPPM), there are nearly 11,000 laboratories in the State, of which nearly 70% are run by technicians.
The court noted that the matter has been repeatedly discussed by many courts
Though the three captioned Civil Applications seeking impleadment are listed before us today, having heard learned counsel for the parties and having perused the averments in the Public Interest Litigation, we propose to dispose of the Public Interest Litigation itself for the reason challenge in the Public Interest Litigation is to orders passed by the State Government in the State of Maharashtra prohibiting paramedics from issuing pathology reports and to take action against them.
The issue has been settled by a decision of the Gujarat High Court on 17.09.2010 in SCA No.17485 of 2006 and the order
passed by the Supreme Court on 12.12.2017 in SLP(C) No.28529 of 2010 as per which the opinion of the Medical Council of India that Laboratory Reports can be countersigned only by a medical practitioner having post graduate qualification in pathology was found to be correct.
The decision has been welcomed by pathologists in the state
Explaining the issue Dr Prasad Kulkarni, President MAPPM informed Medical Dialogues “According to the Medical Council of India, pathology is a specialized branch of modern medicine and registered Medical practitioner with post-graduate qualifications in pathology can sign lab reports. This has been clarified many times since years. In 2001 Nagpur Pathologists filed Complaint against labs run by unqualified Personnel and themselves signing reports. After receiving complaints police Authorities started action against them. Such action was intervened by state govt documents. Further, in 2005 these documents were challenged by a group of Pathologists in Bombay High court. While releasing interim orders in 2007, ordered state govt to take action against Illegal labs and if Technicians want to run path lab, they have to appoint post-graduate Pathologist to supervise lab reports. Since then Various Technicians Associations filed interventions in this case. While releasing final order court considered all facts in this issue and asked to implement Supreme court order dated 12/12/17 and Gujrat High court order.” MAPPM which was also a party in Supreme court case.
“Recently State Government in assembly assured a GR to take action against illegal path labs but it’s not released till date,” he added