prenatal sex determination hassles


As a law abiding doctor in medical profession for 22 years now, sometimes I really doubt that where exactly is this nation and its healthcare heading to.

1. An honest highly qualified Radiologist who is willing to co-operate with the silly law like PCPNDT is liable to go to jail even for a small mistake in a 3 page form F …BUT AN UNREGISTERED UNQUALIFIED QUACK CAN PRACTISE SEX DETERMINATION WITH HELP OF A HAND HELD CHINESE MACHINE without fear.

2. A patient can ask to a doctor openly that “is sex determination possible at your place ?… BUT A DOCTOR HAS TO GIVE IT IN WRITING EVERY DAY…FOR EVERY SONOGRAPHY that he has neither detected nor disclosed the sex.

Just imagine a minister taking oath from the president every time he enters his office…or a bureaucrat signing a paper on each file that he is not going to be corrupt…or the court proceeding requiring everyone in the court to vouch with The GEETA/QURAN/BIBLE about speaking truth each time he opens his mouth.

This is how much the society has betrayed this noble profession… they are not happy YOU SIGNING THE AFFIDAVIT AT ONCE while registering in PCPNDT…THEY WANT YOU TO SAY IT EVERYTIME-EVERYDAY….worst treatment than a criminal.

3. In all the criminal cases the police-the procecuter have to prove that the accused is guilty…BUT IN PCPNDT IT IS THE RESPONSIBILITY OF THE DOCTOR TO PROVE THAT HE IS NOT GUILTY…IN FACT HE IS LABELLED AS A CRIMINAL and GUILTY BEFORE THE TRIAL IS COMPLETE…because his machine is sealed on suspicion alone…his reputation-image is maligned by publishing his name in media the very next day…and his registration suspended till the court aquits him at its own leisurely infinite schedule of tarikh pe tarikh.

4. A gunda /a politician can contest any election even if he is in jail…BUT A DOCTOR CAN NOT RENEW /REGISTER FOR A PCPNDT LICENCE just because he has a ‘criminal case’ for not filling some part of the FORM F

5. On one hand the government wants strict regulation/governance on all the imaging modalities (including CT /MRI…even A scan for ophthalmic ultrasound is being included as ‘a scanner’ by an over enthusiastic authority) but ON THE OTHER HAND A SIMPLE BLOOD TEST IS EASILY AVAILABLE FOR ANYONE …WHICH CAN DETECT SEX AS EARLY AS 5 WEEKS OF PREGNANCY.

6. The government doesn’t want a qualified well-trained Radiologist to visit more than 2 places and prevents him from utilusing his full potential BUT THEY WANT TO PROMOTE CREATING ‘SONOLOGISTS’ WITH MERELY 6 MONTHS TRAINING….BECAUSE THERE IS SCARCITY OF QUALIFIED RADIOLOGISTS IN THE NATION.

7. The judiciary is already crippled with a huge back log of millions of pending cases but THEY WANT TO CREATE THOUSANDS OF NEW ‘CRIMINAL CASES’ OUT OF minor clerical errors JUST TO HARASS the educated-white collar doctor. If ten thousand doctors are facing criminal cases in the ACT AGSINST SEX DETERMINATION, why are there not even 10 couples facing the same music ?

8. You are liable to face the charge of ‘not practsing within limitations of your speciality’ if you are a general physician and treat cardiac patients with your ‘limited’ knowledge (a recent high court verdict) BUT ALL THE AAYUSH DOCTORS (and now the pharmacists also) have THE PERMISSION TO TREAT ANY AILMENT WITH MODERN ALLOPATHIC MEDICINES…EVEN IF THEY ARE NOT TRAINED IN PHARMACOLOGY (because there is SCARCITY of doctors in Rural India…the court says…IS THE LIFE OF A RURAL INDIAN LESS PRECIOUS THAN THAT OF AN URBAN …to be treated carelessly by a half-baked inadequately qualified doctor ?! With the same logic, an auto driver should be allowed to fly an airplane because we don’t have adequate pilots.

8. The super rich cricketers are showered with gifts and exemption of import tax…but taxes on life saving medical drugs/equipment (including all the imaging machines like USG CT MR have hardly changed)

9. A multiplex owner gets tax exemption for 5 years, IT industry gets enormous profits but have plenty of tax exemptions… BUT A DOCTOR OR A HOSPITAL who save lives of the citizens ARE LIABLE TO PAY ALL SORTS OF TAXES (property tax income tax profession tax octroi etc)…and yes only a doctor is supposed to give handsome concessions… Do charity in his fees…

10. Govt hospitals have gone to dogs because of non availability of good doctors and funds but THE PRIVATE HEALTHCARE SECTOR (small clinics and doctor-run small medium hospitals) WHICH CATERS TO 85 % OF THE POPULATION OF THIS VAST COUNTRY is systematically being crushed with unjust regulations like clinical establishment act…ONLY TO FAVOUR THE cash rich CORPORATE SECTOR

11. India has so many skilled IVF consultants and so many needy couples who are ready for donor eggs / surrogacy BUT THE NEW ART BILL is drafted with so much of vengeance against the doctors that ANY SANE /SENSIBLE SPECIALIST WILL KEEP HIM AWAY FROM DONORS/SURROGACY for all his life.
And all those poor needy women/widows who can earn some 4 lack rupees legitimately out of surrogacy to support their families will not have this option of lending their ovums/wombs to others. If blood donation and organ donation is a service to humanity…why is ovum donation/surrogacy being looked upon so scepticaly ? then why make the rules so complicated ?

12. After spending millions on IIT, an engineer can fly to US without paying a paisa to the nation…BUT A DOCTOR HAS TO COMPULSORILY SERVE THE GOVT FOR 2 YEARS.

This list can go on and on…but the real ‘icing on the cake’ is those ever increasing incidences of VIOLENCE AGAINST DOCTORS…just because in this era of consumerism the consumers want a 100 % result…always- without trying understand limitations of medicine as a science !

I just feel that there is a serious lack of common sense and complete absence of foresight amongst all the policy makers in HEALTHCARE… as a result- the inefficient but corrupt bureaucracy is going haywire, is not accountable for all the mess they all have created and resultantly the misery of the common population continues.

I am ‘realistic’ rather than ‘optimistic’ and hence feel that if this is the way INDIA treats its doctors…the day is not far when GOOD Indian doctors will be left with no choice but to ‘QUIT INDIA’…the process has already begun (try talking to a few post graduate medical students…and you will realize)

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