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MAPPM demands stern action against illegal path labs in Maha

Laxmi Yadav, Mumbai
Friday, November 3, 2017, 08:00 Hrs  [IST]

Maharashtra Association of Practicing Pathologists and Microbiologists (MAPPM) has urged the Maharashtra government to take action against illegal pathology laboratories in the state jeopardizing public health.

Diagnostic test reports pave the way for effective treatment of medical conditions of patients. Certification of medical reports by unqualified persons can lead to erroneous assessment of the medical conditions and wrong treatment putting patients at serious risk.

Dr Sandeep Yadav, president of MAPPM in a letter to chief minister Devendra Fadnavis on November 1, 2017 stated that there are thousands of path labs in the state run by people having Diploma in Medical Laboratory Technology (DMLT) or equivalent degrees in violation of Maharashtra Medical Practitioners Act 1961 and Bombay High Court order.

The persons having DMLT or equivalent degrees are paramedical personnel who are meant to assist the pathologist and work in the laboratory under the pathologist’s supervision. They are not permitted to run the laboratory independently without the presence of a registered and qualified pathologist. The persons who are not registered with the medical council and practicing pathology are quacks and are liable to be prosecuted as per the Maharashtra Medical Practitioners Act 1961, Section 33 (1). The penalty for such quackery is laid down in Section 33 (2) of the above Act. Its high time the government takes action against the illegal labs, said Dr Yadav.

The Indian Medical Council Act 1956 and professional regulations 2002 clearly says that MBBS is the minimum qualification to practice modern system of medicine. Signing a pathology report is considered a practice of modern medicine. Any qualification other than MBBS or MD pathology/biochemistry/microbiology is not eligible to sign a lab report by law.

In 2007 Bombay High Court held that the laboratory technicians, being not pathologists, cannot run any laboratory independently. The court also held that the lab technicians could not directly give any report to any patient or any other individual, or to any institution or practising doctor without the authentication of the same by the pathologist registered with the medical council. The court said individual laboratory technician cannot be allowed to run pathological laboratory independently without engaging a pathologist registered with the medical council.

“We have been raising illegal path lab issue with concerned authorities since 2008 but nothing has been done so far. The government should take stern action against illegal path labs hampering people's access to quality healthcare”, said MAPPM president.

 

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