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Monday, Oct 21, 2019

No record of pathology labs in city: BMC’s reply to RTI query

City-based pathologist Dr Prasad Kulkarni filed the query in February, seeking a list of pathology laboratories, its owners, staff pathologists and contact details in the city.

mumbai Updated: Apr 13, 2019 10:31 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Mumbai
No record of pathology labs in city: BMC’s reply to RTI query (Diwakar Prasad/HT Photo)
No record of pathology labs in city: BMC’s reply to RTI query (Diwakar Prasad/HT Photo)
         

The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation’s (BMC) public health department does not have a record of the number of pathology laboratories in the city, its response to a Right to Information (RTI) application has revealed.

City-based pathologist Dr Prasad Kulkarni filed the query in February, seeking a list of pathology laboratories, its owners, staff pathologists and contact details in the city. Responding to the plea, officials said since the laboratories are not registered under BMC, the information is not maintained by them.

The civic body’s failure to collect this information is in contravention to a 2018 directive by the Directorate of Medical Education and Research (DMER), which asked all civic bodies in the state to submit a detailed report of pathology laboratories in order to keep a check on illegal clinics.

“After the initial DMER order, repeated reminders were sent to municipal corporations which failed to follow the norms. The latest reminder was sent in August 2018. However, officials lack the will to step up against the nexus of illegal laboratories in the city,” said Kulkarni.

Dr Padmaja Keskar, BMC’s executive health officer, said registration or functioning of pathological laboratories is not under the civic body’s domain. “The norms related to illegal pathological laboratories will only be clear once the proposed Maharashtra Clinical Establishment Act comes into existence,” Keskar said.

The Maharashtra Association of Practising Pathologists and Microbiologists (MAPPM), the largest body of certified pathologists in the state, has alleged city officials are protecting illegal clinics and allowing technicians to sign reports for blood, urine, tissue, body fluids and other histopathology tests.

Dr Sandeep Yadav, president of MAPPM, said, “We have estimated that the industry of illegal laboratories is worth Rs 500 crore. Even in Mumbai, almost one-third of the labs are illegal and no official has been taken against them.”

First Published: Apr 13, 2019 03:51 IST

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