WHO in its recent publication has clearly declared that restricting technology was not the way forward.
The PNDT Act came into being in 1994 with the purpose of improving the altered sex ratio in India. It was further amended in 2003 as the PCPNDT Act to regulate the technology used in sex selection. The Act banned preconception and prenatal sex determination. Its intent was to curb the actual act of sex selection and female feticide by regulating the use of ultrasound technology.
However, despite the Act having been in existence for over 20 years, the altered sex ratio in India has not changed. Instead, it has had two major negative consequences:
- In its current form, the implementation of the PCPNDT Act has deprived the community of life-saving and essential ultrasonography which has now become an extension of clinical practice for all specialties globally, being a well-known non-invasive, cost-effective and accurate diagnostic tool.
- The current PCPNDT Act has made it extremely difficult for ultrasound clinics to ensure complete enforcement. Doctors and other medical professionals are being put to extreme hardship while performing routine and essential scans. Due to this, many qualified doctors are opting not to do PNDT scans, thus creating a shortage of experts trained in ultrasonography.
As the PCPNDT Act has not resulted in the improvement of the falling sex ratio, social rather than medical interventions will be required to handle this issue effectively. The Act is being used to punish doctors for minor offences such as clerical errors in the filling of forms, thereby resulting in doctors being prosecuted and ultrasound machines being seized and sealed.
Dr Chandan Kumar Das initiated a movemnt across India. They had given represenation to Honorable Prime Minister and Ayush Minster.
Some of the points they raised are
Sub: An appeal to allow the BHMS & BAMS doctors to receive qualification on ultrasonography as per time based need of progressing India
Inspite of best of the efforts of Govt. of India to reduce maternal mortality rate (MMR) and infant mortality rate (IMR), the present MMR and IMR not reduced satisfactorily. One of the important causes of MMR and IMR apart from malnutrition is lack of facilities of early diagnosis of complicated pregnancies like placenta previa, oligo hydramnious, breach presentation, IUGR etc. One of the major causes of these under diagnosed or undiagnosed causes is lack of availability of USG facilities in remote rural areas.
Not only the MMR or IMR but also many other serious medical or surgical diseases like ascites,cholelithiasis,choledocholithiasis, gallbladdercarcinoma,renalcalculous, traumatic intraabdominal haemorrhage, ,carcinoma breast remain undiagnosed at their early stage due to lack of USG facilities in rural areas.
The reason behind this lack of availability of USG centers in rural areas is lack of skilled Sonologist in these area. Still to date there is the huge gap between demand of Sonologist in rural area and supply of the same.
In this scenario the huge vacancy between the demand and supply can be fulfilled by providing proper training to the graduates of Medical Science other than MBBS (BHMS, BAMS) as because the above courses are equivalent to MBBS as recognized by Ministry of Health, Govt. of India and all of them has to study all allied subjects of MBBS except pharmacology.
Another reason of lack of accessibility of USG to rural pupil is quite a high cost that most of the villagers can’t effort. In this scenario if BHMS/BAMS doctors are properly trained as like MBBS and allowed to practice USG then increase of skilled human resource will automatically decrease the cost of USG and increase affordability for villagers.
From the above discussions it is clear that there is the practical scope to increase accessibility of USG and decrease cost of USG for rural people by given opportunity to BHMS / BAMS doctors to study USG and practice. But the main obstacle to implement this huge opportunity is PNDT act, according to this act only MBBS doctors are allowed to study and practice USG .
Under these circumstances this is an earnest request to allow BHMS and BAMS doctors to study and practice USG so that rural people of India can avail the modern technology of diagnostic medical science and mobility and mortality including MMR and IMR can be reduced to an optimum level.
Ayush doctors of India
Copy to: 1)Honorable Prime Minister Govt. of India
2) Honorable Health Minister Govt. of India
3) Honorable President Central Council of Homoeopathy
If you would like to support this movement, please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
NB: Recently IMA (Indian Medical Association) also urged Govt. of India to amend PNDT act. So this is the right time to act.