MSc medical teachers oppose new rules on diagnostic labs

The National MSc Medical Teachers Association (NMMTA) is protesting the new norms under the clinical establishments (central government) rules on diagnostic laboratories, which deny them any role in clinical diagnostics, including signing the reports.

It said while many corporate hospitals and private diagnostic laboratories in the country have medical MSc post-graduates interpreting and signing laboratory test reports, the new norms make it mandatory that all diagnostic laboratories have doctors (registered with Medical Council of India or State Medical Council) signing test reports.
While 10 states and six union territories, except Delhi, adopted the rules, they are being implemented in Rajasthan and Jharkhand as of now.

Sridhar Rao, NMMTA president, said, “NMMTA protests this unjust exclusion and demands that the National Council for Clinical Establishment modify its guidelines to accommodate medical MSc degree (irrespective of PhD) as a qualification to interpret and sign diagnostic test reports in microbiology and biochemistry. Since medical MSc is included in the first schedule of the Indian Medical Council Act, 1956, the health ministry implored that medical MSc degree holders be registered in the central or state medical councils.  Laboratory testing services are not the practice of medicine. Therefore, health ministry must not restrict the role of interpretation and signing laboratory reports to doctors only.”

“Students also learn about the physiological functions of the body, the disease process and the various parameters in health and disease, which enable them to interpret the diagnostic tests,” Rao said, urging the government to set right the anomaly.

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