Regular-article-logo Sunday, 28 May 2023

Doctors across Jharkhand on warpath

No sonography for 3 days

Praduman Choubey Ranchi/Dhanbad Published 09.06.19, 06:35 PM
AK Singh

AK Singh Telegraph picture

Doctors across Jharkhand are up in arms over a delay in the probe into the May 26 arrest of a radiologist, Dr Seema Modi, for allegedly conducting the gender-determination test of a foetus at her clinic in Koderma’s Jhumri Telaiya.

In a resolution taken on Sunday by the state unit of Indian Medical Association (IMA), doctors said they resented the fact that no inquiry was made into the validity of the arrest of Modi.


The doctors decided not to conduct any ultrasonography of the gravid uterus — pregnant uterus in layperson terms — for 72 hours beginning Tuesday, June 11, across the state.

The resolution was conveyed to the office-bearers of outfits such as the Jharkhand State Health Services Association (JSHSA), Sonological Society of India (SSOI), members of the state unit of the Federation of Obstetrics and Gynaecological Societies of India (Fogsi) and Radiological Society, Jharkhand.

All these medical outfits have “fully supported the IMA’s decision and expressed concern about the apathetic attitude of the state health and family welfare department towards the concerns of doctors,” said Dr A.K. Singh, president of the IMA state unit.

He told The Telegraph that a delegation of doctors under the banner of the IMA met the state health and family welfare minister Ramchandra Chandravanshi on June 1 on the Seema Modi case.

“The health minister promised an inquiry into the arrest by constituting a committee but no panel has been formed as yet. The doctor (Modi) continues to languish behind bars. This compelled us to protest.”

Modi’s arrest, Singh added, sent a wrong signal to the medical fraternity at large about the working environment of doctors in Jharkhand at a time the state was facing a severe shortage of doctors everywhere, be it medical colleges, nursing homes, hospitals or primary and community health centres.

Singh said the lady radiologist, arrested by the Koderma district administration on charges of violating the provisions of Pre-Conception and Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques Act, 1994, was “languishing in jail for the past fortnight for no fault of hers”.

Explaining the “absurdity” of the arrest, Singh said: “There is no meaning in levelling charges of sex determination on a woman who is eight months pregnant. Why would any doctor do this? Sex determination, if at all it happens, takes place latest by the third or fourth month,” said Singh.

The implication was that if the mother wanted the female foetus to be aborted, she had to do it while it was still possible.

The woman, on whose foetus Modi is accused of performing the sex-determination test, was sent as a trap by the district administration in the wake of Koderma’s sex ratio of 817 (number of girls per 1,000 boys), comparable to Haryana.

“We will intensify our agitation if the government fails to give Dr Modi justice,” Singh said.

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