National team pulls up Pune’s civic body; seals sonography unit in city
District committee has members from private bodies which is unlawful: panelUpdated: May 14, 2019 15:20 IST
The National Inspection and Monitoring Committee (NIMC) appointed by the Union health and family welfare ministry has pulled up the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) for irregularities in the district advisory committee under the Pre-conception and Pre-natal Diagnostic Techniques (PCPNDT) Act, 1994. Also, during an inspection in the city, it sealed an ultrasonography machine of Sant clinic in Model Colony for not keeping proper records of patients.
The committee headed by Dr Neelam Singh undertook a threeday inspection in Pune last week. The PCPNDT Act, 1994 has banned prenatal sex determination tests and seeks to prevent female foeticide.
Dr Singh observed that although the district advisory committee under the PCPNDT Act should consist of only government officials and doctors, Pune’s committee has members elected from private medical bodies like Indian Radiological & Imaging Association and Indian Medical Association, which is unlawful.
She said, “The PCPNDT Act does not permit those who promote the technology and practice the same, to be part of the committee. However, it was noticed that the Pune committee has nomithe nated members from doctors association who had mala fide intentions. It was noticed that the PMC commissioner has been least bothered about the PCPNDT cell so he too will be sent a letter regarding the same.”
When asked about the issue, Dr Ramchandra Hankare, chief of health, PMC, said, “We will rejig the committee if needed. The surprise raids on suspected clinics were on, even before the National Inspection and Monitoring Committee conducted inspection. We did not announce the raids due to poll code.”
As per the National Inspection and Monitoring Committee, one of the unlawful appointments on district advisory committee of PCPNDT is that of Dr Sanjay Gupte, a private doctor.
Dr Gupte, past president of Federation of Obstetrics and Gynaecological Society of India (FOGSI) said, “I have been on the committee for 10 years now and I agree I am not from the government body directly. I helped frame the Act and it was my suggestion to the government to add ‘pre-conception’ (PC) in the PCPNDT Act. Alienating senior doctors from such a body will only lead to government policing which will be unhelpful.”
Also, during an inspection of the committee acted against Sant clinic in Model Colony. They found not only incomplete records of patients who came for sonography but also noticed that the doctor was unable to provide reports related to the patients.
“This made it clear that the doctor’s conscience was not clear. Hence the clinic’s ultrasonography machine was sealed immediately,” said Singh.
Gynaecologist Dr Anuradha Sant to whom the clinic belonged declined to comment on the issue saying that she was busy in an emergency. However, one of her staff members, on condition of anonymity confirmed of the sonography machine being sealed by the National Inspection and Monitoring Committee.