Thursday, 27 July 2017



Crackdown begins on pathologists over wrong diagnostic test reports
Jyoti Shelar TWEETS @_MumbaiMirror

State medical council slaps notices on five paramedics for unethical practices
The Maharashtra Medical Council (MMC) has slapped notices on five city pathologists for signing reports at about 15 laboratories while a pathologist was present at only at one. This is the first time that the MMC has taken any action to deter pathologists from indulging in such practices.
According to the rules, laboratories carrying out diagnostic tests should have one or more qualified pathologist to oversee all the tests and certify the reports. In recent years, the number of illegal laboratories, where the tests and reports are given by technicians and not qualified pathologists, has grown exponentially. The MMC had received several complaints about such discrepancies, and hence the action.
MMC executive member Dr Shivkumar Utture confirmed that notices have been issued to five pathologists. "They have been called for hearing on August 8," he said.
According to Dr Sandeep Yadav, president of the Maharashtra Association of Practicing Pathologists and Microbiologists (MAPPM), two main problems are ailing the profession."One is non-pathology people running laboratories and issuing reports, and the second is pathologists simply renting their signatures without being present," said Yadav, citing the example of a case in Nagpur a few years ago where a technician issued a wrong HIV test report for a man who committed suicide on seeing that he had tested positive. The re-test of the sample revealed that he was HIV negative.
According to Yadav, there needs to be a massive crackdown on illegal laboratories by the authorities. "Also, doctors treating patients should not blindly accept the pathology reports from laboratories who they know are not trustworthy or a when qualified pathologist's signature is not on the report," said Yadav.
According to MAPPM estimates, there are over 5,000 laboratories in the state, of which over 1,000 are in Mumbai. Illegal laboratories pose a threat not only to the patients but also to those running laboratories in the legal way by appointing qualified pathologists.
Yadav said most cases of wrong reports go unreported as the matter is "settled" or the patients' relatives do not have the drive to fight till the end. "We have been complaining to the MMC for past several years. We are glad that some action has been initiated finally," said Yadav, adding that the MAPPM has also complained against illegal laboratories to the police in the past.
"Our fight is for the benefit of the patients eventually," said pathologist Dr Prasad Kulkarni, adding that the most common mistakes are being seen in malaria and dengue reports, as this is the season for mosquito-borne diseases.
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