Delhi: Sealed ultrasound training centre back in business, this time with videos, presentations
Though providing ultrasound training and certification is in contravention of the Pre-Conception Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques (PC PNDT) Act, the Delhi government cannot take action against the centre as it is teaching theory and not using an ultrasound machine for practical demos.delhi Updated: Feb 12, 2018 17:15 IST
A month after the Delhi government sealed 13 ultrasound machines and suspended the licence of a radio-diagnosis centre in West Delhi’s Janakpuri for illegally training people to use ultrasound machines, the centre has resumed the courses through videos and presentations.
Though providing ultrasound training and certification is in contravention of the Pre-Conception Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques (PC PNDT) Act, the Delhi government cannot take action against the centre as it is teaching theory and not using an ultrasound machine for practical demos.
“If no ultrasound machines are being used for the training, the centre will not be answerable to the PC PNDT cell. And, since the course does not promise any degree or diploma in medical education, it will not be governed by the Medical Council of India either. It is like giving tuition classes, which are completely unregulated,” said a senior official from Delhi government’s health department, on condition of anonymity.
The Ultrasound Training Centre, which had a licence to function as a diagnostic clinic only, had been training 300 to 400 people to conduct ultrasound, with demonstration using ultrasound machines, every year without approval from the state government, a surprise inspection in December had found.
That’s when the licence of the centre was cancelled and all the 13 ultrasound machines sealed. It was back in business in January. “The fee is Rs 1.5 lakh and you can complete the course in six months. There is also an option for attending regular classes for 29 days and then continuing the rest of the course online. You will get a certificate on completion,” said a representative from the Institute of Ultrasound Training.
“One batch started on January 16, you can join it now. The practical demonstrations, however, were not being done,” the representative said, on enquiry about the course.
Doctors who have completed their MBBS need to undergo a six-month training course to work as sonologist, according to the PC-PNDT act. However, the training can be provided only in centres recognised by the state government.
The six months’ training course is yet to start in Delhi.
“There is a petition pending in the Supreme Court challenging the six months’ training course. However, in a parallel PIL, the SC made it clear that the Act which makes provision for the course should be followed in letter and spirit. The Delhi government has already notified 12 centres where the courses will begin soon,” said the official.
Apart from training people illegally, the joint inspection by the state and the national team in December had also found that the clinic had unregistered ultrasound machines and the doctors using them hadn’t been registered with the PC PNDT cell either, which is mandatory under law.
“Having an unregistered ultrasound machine is a major offence by itself, but it was also kept portable. Under the PC-PNDT act, it is mandatory for portable machines to be fixed on a stand so that they cannot be easily carried out of a diagnostic centre,” the official said.
Ultrasound reports and the films were also missing from all of the Form ‘F’ – a record of the ultrasound done -- that were confiscated by the team.
In the one month since the inspection, the health department had failed to file a complaint court case, which is supposed to be filed as soon as possible.