Sex determination plaints go unheard

Sex determination plaints go unheard

The Health and Family Welfare Department has apparently turned a deaf ear to complaints about the violation of the Preconception and Prenatal Diagnostic Techniques Act.

Complaints about prenatal sex determination, female foeticides and even baby selling incidents have been reported, but as the government is yet to form the state and the district advisory committees to look into them, such reports are going unattended.

Dr Vasundhara Bhupathi, a former member of the committee whose tenure ended in October 2012, says that even today she receives at least one complaint a month about such incidents, but since she is no more a member of the committee, she cannot take any action. 

She said that a few months ago, she and a government official had attended to a complaint filed by members of a women’s organisation about malpractice in KR Puram Hospital. But no action could be taken against the hospital as they do not have any powers.

According to sources, a few months ago, there was a complaint about a super-speciality hospital located in Malleswaram, whose staff, including the hospital head, were allegedly involved in baby selling. 

Sources said the hospital was encouraging female foeticide and if a woman was five or  six months into pregnancy, they would then source persons in need of a child and sell the baby to them. 

The incident was ‘recorded’ by a regional news channel through a sting operation. But since the person involved was a former employee of the Health department, during an inquiry, he refused to admit that he was involved and he was let off, sources claimed.

According to Health department’s principal secretary M Madan Gopal, a list of the advisory committee members was sent to the health minister’s office six months ago, but no consent was given.

Health Minister U T Khader said he had received the list of the committee members, but was yet to verify their background and qualification. He said he cannot appoint any person as an advisory committee member as he had to personally select them based on their expertise.

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