The Telegraph
Wednesday , May 23 , 2012
Since 1st March, 1999
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Rogue USG clinics face FIR rap

Bokaro civil surgeon has threatened to lodge FIRs against 54 clinics and operators for using unregistered USG machines to perform clandestine sex determination tests.

Shashi Bhushan Singh has revealed that of the 112 ultrasonography centres operational in the district, only 58 were registered. “Several doctors and health workers of the district were also hand in glove with these USG centres. I have sought a list of such unregistered clinics and operators and if I find that their paper work is not in order, FIRs against all of them will be lodged,” he told The Telegraph.

Very few, he added, submitted mandatory monthly reports of the number of USG’s performed on patients.

Two teams of doctors and health workers would be conducting surveys throughout the district, including remote areas, to collect data about USG clinics, registered or unregistered, and their owners after which the civil surgeon’s office would initiate action.

The civil surgeon’s action comes after an NGO reported that the sex ratio in Bokaro was less than the state average of 943. According to Sharmistha Ghoshal, district convener of Shramjivi Mahila Samiti, “Bokaro district recorded 912 females for every 1,000 males as against the state’s 943.”

She said the population of females between 0 and 5 in Bokaro was alarmingly low, indicating that sex determination and female foeticide was a well-entrenched practice in the district.

Senior doctor and former Bokaro civil surgeon Pramod Kumar alleged the prime suspects in this illegal trade were nursing homes that had come up in rural areas. “These are the ones who keep unregistered ultra sound machines and after determining the sex of the foetus also perform illegal MTP or medical termination of pregnancy. No wonder the sex ratio in Bokaro is falling,” he said.