Radiologists can visit more than two clinics

Court puts govt restrictions on hold

The Delhi High Court put a stay on the government’s announcement of restricting a radiologist or sonologist from visiting more than two clinics in a district.

The government had argued this move will help in curbing female foeticide citing illegal practice of gender determination in ultrasound clinics.

The Gazette Notification of June 4, 2012, issued by the Government of India, restricted radiologists and sonologists from visiting more than two clinics within a district to perform ultrasound and made it mandatory to specify their consulting hours at each clinic. On public interest litigation filed by the Indian Radiological and Imaging Association (IRIA), a double-judge bench of the Delhi High Court stayed the order of restriction.

Dr Harsh Mahajan, national president, IRIA, said, “The measures taken by the government being misdirected, would in no way help arrest the declining sex ratio. Instead, these steps would lead to the denial of ultrasound facilities to the general public for diagnosing numerous diseases that had nothing to do with pregnancy ultrasound.

IRIA also highlighted that pregnancy ultrasound comprises only about 2–5 per cent of all ultrasounds radiologists perform, but the notification would unfairly impact other tests too.” Sonologists will still need to specify their working hours at each centre. But, according to the court order, they may perform ultrasound at any time in case of exigency.

The government notification asked the laboratories to inform the appropriate authority about change of sonologist and change, shifting or installation of a new machine at least 30 days in advance.

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