HC Relief For Doctors Using USG Machines

10:16 am Health Care, Medicine

The Bombay high court has allowed portable ultrasonography machines to be taken to patients’ home for any purpose other than sex determination. However, this will be subject to installation of the silent observer (SIOB), a device which monitors scans done by USG machines, reports Times of India.

A division bench of Chief Justice Mohit Shah and Justice Nitin Jamdar was hearing a petition filed by three Mumbai-based cardiologists and an anaesthetist challenging the BMC’s order restraining them from taking the machines outside the clinics/hospitals, where the machines are registered.

Their petition said Pre-conception and Pre-natal Diagnostic Techniques Act (PCPNDT) relates to restrictions on genetic clinics/ institutions and doctors who deal with sex determination. Also, the Act and all government orders should be restricted to doctors operating within that field only. “You cannot have a statute dealing with genetics applying to doctors dealing with cardiology or anaesthesia or anything other than genetics,” argued their counsel J P Cama.

He said other forms of medicines like cardiology, anaesthesia and vascular surgery also require the portable machines. “Any restriction you impose must be upon those doctors who deal with sex determination.

You cannot expect a cardiology patient to go to a clinic or hospital in emergency,” said Cama. The judges asked what is the guarantee that the machine will not be misused.

“How do we ensure you will not misuse it?” asked Justice Shah. Allaying the court’s apprehension, Cama said his clients are willing to have the SIOB installed in their machines and have it certified by BMC medical officer. “It (SIOB) will guard against its misuse,” said Cama.

The judges, in their order, said the doctors can take their machines out of the clinics/hospitals where such machines are registered subject to installation of a SIOB and verification by the chief medical officer of BMC.

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