Ultrasound tests: Path set for training MBBS docs

Finally, parameters have been chalked out for the six-month training of MBBS doctors followed by a competency test to conduct ultrasound examination of patients, especially in obstetrics. The training will follow a structured course that will be prepared by the Medical Council of India (MCI).

The decision was taken in a recent meeting of the the Central Supervisory Board (CSB) to implement the Pre-Conception and Pre Natal Diagnostic Techniques (PC-PNDT) Act.

The decision is also important in that this is for the first time the Board has said merit will decide which MBBS doctor will conduct ultrasound tests.

The policy decision was taken at a meeting in New Delhi, chaired by Union Health Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad and attended by representatives from various states.

Hailing the move, several radiologists including the former president of the Indian Radiological and Imaging Association Dr Harsh Mahajan said the PC-PNDT Act had come into force in 1996 and permitted only registered medical practitioners 'with six-month training' to conduct ultrasound examinations but clarity on the issue was lacking.

"Who should conduct the training and where? There was no clear cut definition of this. Now, after 17 years, the CSB has finally decided to put in place a structured course and define who should conduct the training," Mahajan said.

Dr Jignesh Thakker, PC-PNDT coordinator for IRIA told Newsline it was an important decision as most ultrasound machines belong to non-radiologists. There needs to be proper training, in a structured manner, doctors pointed out.

"It is a step in the right direction as it will correct other anomalies related to sex determination tests," Mahajan said.

Form F simplification still stuck

Issues relates to simplification and rationalisation of Form F, a mandatory record of detailed information including name, address, previous children and their sex, and obstetric history of the pregnant woman undergoing ultrasound scan was deliberated at length in the meeting. However, while it was decided to make the form simpler, no further decisions were taken on the issue. A committee to examine the existing format of form F under the PC-PNDT Act and lay down necessary parameters to facilitate relevant entries in the format had earlier been set up to identify gaps.

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