Restricting radiologists from visiting more than two clinics in a district and limiting their working hours per day will push up ultrasound costs by at least 10% and reduce the number of centres dramatically, claims the Indian Radiological and Imaging Association (IRIA), which has gone to court against the Union government’s June 5 gazette notification on the Pre-Conception and Pre-natal Diagnostic Technique (PNDT) Act, 1994.
Radiologists across the country are facing severe restrictions because of the Union health ministry’s efforts to check pre-natal sex determination, which in cases results in female foeticide.
India’s sex ratio is an alarming 914 girls per 1,000 boys, while the sex ratio in Delhi is 866 girls per 1,000 boys.
“Only about 5% of all the ultrasounds done are pregnancy-related, the rest are for diagnosing diseases and injuries in various parts of the body. There’s already a shortage of radiologists, which is the government’s concern. This move will further decrease the numbers of practising radiologists,” said Dr Harsh Mahajan, national president, IRIA.
The radiologists say those primarily affected will be the poor, as many trained sonographers also practise in charitable institutions or small hospitals.