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Friday , April 5 , 2013
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Crackdown on sex tests

Ranchi, April 4: The civil surgeon of Ranchi has activated a squad of officials to monitor the functioning of ultrasound clinics and has threatened to shut down rogue centres that are operating within the district without adhering to norms mandated by law.

Civil surgeon Dilip Kumar Singh, who is the district appropriate authority, has sent out word to clinics to follow the norms prescribed under Pre-conception Pre-natal Diagnostic Technique (PCPNDT) Act and submit monthly reports on their functioning by the fifth of very month.

Starting this month, he said, he would begin sealing clinics that failed to file monthly reports.

One of the several rules that clinics are to follow is to get patients, usually expecting mothers, to sign on Form F — essentially a declaration by both the patient and the doctor conducting the sonography that the former has no intention of finding out the sex of the foetus and that the latter would neither detect nor disclose it to anyone.

This apart, Form F also records all personal details of the patient, her medical history, information on the clinic and the radiologist operating the equipment.

“Submission of Form F is mandatory,” said Singh. “There must be more than 100 ultrasound clinics in the district. I am not sure about the exact figure but I have never seen reports being sent on time by any of the clinics.”

A member of a district-level advisory committee for implementing the provisions of PCPNDT Act explained that Form F provides an authentic database of the number of pregnant women undergoing sonography.

“The act says the form should be filled without errors and submitted at the office of the appropriate authority. Whenever required, the authority should be able to contact the patient on the basis of information in the form,” he said.

But unfortunately, most ultrasound clinics did not follow this. “Not only those in Ranchi but clinics in other districts, too, merely get the form signed or take a thumb impression of the woman without asking her to fill in the details,” he added.

Singh that he had revived a squad of officials that would crack the whip on erring ultrasound clinics. “Post April 5, we will not issue any further notice. The team will conduct random raids across the district and seal any ultrasound clinic flouting the PCPNDT Act,” he said.

This apart, ultrasound clinics were required to send renewal applications a month in advance. Those that hadn’t done so, would also be sealed.