Radiologists opposing the state government’s new plan to install a device in sonography machines to check for sex determination tests, have said the state should not force doctors to buy the expensive device that costs Rs 40,000 a piece.
The state came up with this plan to curb female infanticide.
Dr Kishore Taori, chairman of the Indian Radiological Imaging Association told Hindustan Times: “We’re supporting the government in checking the social evil [of female infanticide] by following the provisions in the Pre-conception and Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques (Prohibition of Sex selection) Act, 1994.”
Taori said the government must instead focus on unregistered sonography machines, especially in cities like Mumbai. “There could be about 50, 000 sonography machines in the country of which only half are registered,” Taori said.
Health Minister Suresh Shetty said there were only a few radiologists, who were opposed to the idea of installing the device. “We will deal with errant people with iron hands,” Shetty said.
This standoff between the state government and radiologists will delay the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation’s (BMC) plan to execute the project in the city.
The BMC’s Executive Health Officer Dr G.T. Ambe said a senior doctor will visit Kolhapur to study the model and submit a report.
The plan will progress only after the state and radiologists arrive at an agreement.
The pilot project to curb female infanticide was launched in Kolhapur three months ago. The state government now wants to replicate the model across the state.
In Kolhapur, the district collector convinced doctors to install an instrument in their sonography machines.
The device feeds radio images and personal data of patients to the main server installed in the collector’s office.
The administration uses this data to verify whether the pregnancies were continued or aborted.
The vigil is stricter in case of women, who have had a history of delivering girls.
Shetty said the company from Pune that supplied the instrument to radiologists in Kolhapur was ready to offer the device at reasonable rates.
“I will meet the company officials on Tuesday. We will decide on the rates and availability,” Shetty said.